Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Middle School Monday: Jumpstart Creative Writing with Storybird Poetry

MSM11Have you been using Storybird? It’s a wonderful free digital tool that uses images to unlock creative writing in our students [and ourselves!]. Sometimes, writing poetry or prose from scratch can be daunting for students—this is why Storybird can be so effective. With Storybird, users choose the art FIRST and then create poems, picture books, or chapter books using the artwork.

The artwork is extremely varied—and differs greatly in terms of tone, medium, and subject matter. There is truly artwork that would fit the writing of our students from K to 12, making it a wonderful fit for the tricky age-level that is middle school.

Storybird is a favorite tool of mine because of two empowering events that seem to happen with every class.

  1. A student that has never shown interest in poetry will have an immediate affinity for Storybird poetry. As the words are preloaded, it is a sort of ‘found poetry’ like black-out or spine poetry. It’s almost like putting together a puzzle. Without fail, a student will blow us away with her/his/their talent with this mode of poetry. It’s awesome!
  2. Also, in every class, there will be at least one student who will love the tool so much that they will start using it to create poems in their free time.

girl reading poem

Storybird has a new feature that I’m incredibly excited about. Teachers are able to select the words [up to 100] that will pre-fill for a poetry assignment.

What a wonderful project choice for a culminating assignment for any subject! I can imagine 6th grade students using this feature to create cool poems after their space unit. Or, 7th graders writing poems on an aspect they’ve been studying during their WWII units. 8th graders ‘studying’ vocabulary by building poetry. It can fit just about any topic. Any unit. Any subject.

Recently, sixth graders created poetry using a vocabulary list I created from G. Neri’s Yummy: Last Days of a Southside Shorty.

yummy poem

Whenever I incorporate creative mini-projects after reading literature, I’m going to include this as a choice. Thank you Storybird for adding this feature. I LOVE IT!

I’m Julie Stivers at @BespokeLib—and I get excited about things. Have a great week!

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