Friday, September 21, 2012

Elementary Activities: Great Apps and Websites to Encourage Young Writers

By Deborah Pace Rowley

I love the potential of the computer to encourage children to write. It capitalizes on the excitement of modern technology to teach one of the three classic R’s...reading, riting and rithmetic! Here is a list of the favorite apps and the websites that I use with my class. 


iDiary- This app has all the features you would expect from a fun online journal. Cool tools, unique stickers, the ability to add photos and more. The lite version is free but I recommend the full version for $1.99. 

Puppet Pals HD Director’s Cut- This fun app has kids creating a puppet show. The free version is fun for a start but I would recommend the director’s cut that costs $2.99 so your child can have lots more options of puppets including putting himself and his family into the show.

Toontastic- This app has kids creating and animating their own cartoons. There are lots of upgrades but I think the free version works just fine. 

Bookabi- This app is free and has kids putting comic book bubbles and captions on their own photos and drawings. They have so much fun turning their own photographs into comical creations that it is hard to get them to stop! 

Storywheel Lite- The lite version is free and allows kids to collaborate with their friends  or family members to create fun stories based on the objects that they spin on the wheel. The app lets you record your voice and then replay the story for all to hear. 

Poplet Lite- The lite version is free and allows kids to create fun webs that they can use to plan a story and brainstorm about plots and characters and action or whatever they want. 

Scribble Press- This app is probably my favorite for creating books that you can share online with family and friends. It has simple templates that the youngest child can fill in as well as drawing tools, stickers, the ability to upload your own photos and more. Better yet, it is free!

Paper 53- This free app is a beautiful tool for older writers to explore ideas, record hopes and dreams, sketch, draw and create in beautiful customizable notebooks. 


Storybird- This artistically beautiful site encourages kids and adults to write stories to accompany their amazing illustrations. More illustrations are being added all the time, so check back often for fresh inspiration. 

StoryJumper- This is another fun site that includes great tools to inspire kids. It has story starters as well as lots of stickers, props, and costumes to inspire your imagination and bring your book to life. 

Happy Writing Everyone!

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