I came across the Storybird www.storybird.com website during the week and was initially reluctant to sign up for the free account (yet another log in to remember) but I gave it a crack.
You can do three things with it
- write poetry
- write a picture book
- write a chapter book/novel
You use the images as a stimulus to create a piece of work.
You can write for the following age groups.
I began experimenting with poetry. You take a single image and are given a random selection of words. Think Magnetic Poetry for your fridge.
You are limited with the words you are given and this can sometimes be a frustration. However, the limited vocabulary makes you focus on what you can do with the words at hand. Sometimes the words are almost useless and you scrap it and start again.
These are some poems I have created.
I also have a picture book using a haibun(a mixture of prose and haiku) as an experiment. I was limited by the number of images provided to create a strong narrative.
Before a picture book is ‘published’ it is vetted by the site. I found my story had been approved within less than 24 hours. I suspect this is due to the broad audience range available.
I can see this being a good tool from an educator’s point of view as a way of helping students experiment with language, create their own stories with visuals already created (artists can also submit their work for use but I do not know how they are supported and/or paid).
It is useful for a 10 minute creative break, or something to spark your imagination if you’re feeling stifled.
I am not sure how far to go with it but for the moment it is a fun, creative way to pass the time and get you thinking and creating. It may lead to other works or ideas. Ultimately it’s another tool you can use to be creative.