Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Breaking through writer's block

When I was in fourth grade, one of my homeroom teachers was a professional children's book author. Therefore, during our day, it was he who taught us writing. Though I enjoyed him as a teacher, I remember one day in particular where he asked us to think up a character and some sort of story line to write a narrative story of sorts. My character was a blue, flexible mouse. Yes, a flexible, bendable mouse. She was rather boring and I felt stuck writing a story about her for lack of other ideas. Oh, if only I had had a website like this one to get my writing juices flowing!

Online Story Makers is a compilation of sites where students can create a story scene of sorts. Particularly for grades one through four, I could see this is a creative outlet to not only serve as the basis of a story, but to safely explore the basics of computer use as they select and drag characters for their story. There are plenty of choices for students and the site pulls from a wide variety of genres and children's book materials to meet all of students' needs.

If you're thinking the resources are just a compliation of cartoon characters, think again. Places like Storybird use real artists' work (as professional as you'd find in a children's book) to make high quality-looking stories.

I can't wait to book computer time for my students and to use this creative outlet!

What are your favorite ways to encourage students in the pre-writing process?

P.S. A special thanks to my librarian Cris for pointing out this resource!

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