Story Builder

LQ: 9.3

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Brain grade: 9.6
Fun score: 9

ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , , LWK Recommended Age: 4–12 Thinking Skills Used: , , Academic Skills Used:

Story Builder uses visual prompts to guide users as they create an original story. Instead of using a keypad to write a story, users record their narrative directly into their device’s speaker. Users who are less developed writers, will find Story Builder a great way to become more confident expressing their ideas – and more apt to strive to become stronger writers. The app is designed to improve writing clarity, but also allows users to explore their creativity by writing imaginative stories that are inspired by the accompanying image. There are three different levels of Story Builder, which progressively provide less visual prompts, forcing users to rely on their own creative impulses. Key features such as prompting questions and sentence starters make this app appropriate for ages 4 through 12.


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THIS APP IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Goal-directed persistence is an important sub-skill that falls under the umbrella term, "focus." A story or narrative has a beginning, middle, and an end. A story is incomplete if it lacks a fully-developed plot. Story Board encourages users to finish each narrative that they begin, stressing the importance of committing to a story until it is finished. Users must carefully study each image prompt, inferring as much as they can from the visual aid, converting their inferences into a clear, concise sentence.

Flexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Story Builder presents a new image where a page break would normally occur in a more traditional story. Users must quickly adapt to the new visual prompt, inserting applicable transition words, as well as making new inferences. Often Story Builder will feature a change in perspective or introduce a new character, which may even result in users changing their original plans for their narrative. The app itself is inherently flexible, as it introduces a new medium for story-telling - one that is completely digital and voice activated.

Organization

Arranging and coordinating materials in order to complete a task.

Using Story Builder will require users to organize their thoughts in a sequence that will make the story easy to follow for readers. Sequencing is a key component to telling a compelling story - and a facet of storytelling that the app actually employs in its design. Because users must turn images into a verbal description, they are essentially using a story telling template to help them organize their stories - in the same way that a graphic organizer helps the brainstorming process with an essay. Story Builder will make the transition to physically writing any assignment a natural progression, as users will already posses the organizational skills necessary to render a quality narrative.

Writing

Although users are not technically "writing" when they create a tale with Story Builder, they are practicing strategies that will aid them in becoming better writers. While the app relies only on voice recording, users must master basic skills of writing in order to put forth a quality piece of work. Skills like, word choice, sentence structure, and organizational strategies are key - even when dictating a story into the app. Especially for children who have learning disabilities, or those struggle with writing due to dyslexia, Story Builder functions as a practical introductory device to those with special learning needs.

Story Builder is an excellent education app. Try some of the ideas below, or submit your own in the comment field at the bottom of the page. 

Focus

Many children struggle with generating ideas. Help your child begin his story by analyzing the image with him. What is going on in the photo? What could the characters be doing? And most importantly, what would make the story interesting, and entertaining? Do an informal brainstorm and let his imagination take the story in a new direction. Once your child has sufficiently keyed in on the image, he can start answering the prompting questions.

Flexibility

Be sure that your child's story is constantly evolving as new images are introduced. A static story is generally unfulfilling for both the writer and the reader, and will not exercise your child's flexibility skills. Each new picture should ignite new idea, allowing your child to take the story in a new direction. When an image is introduced, talk to your child about tying a new idea in with what he perceives to be the story arch. Maybe his story is about to take an unanticipated turn. Encourage experimentation without losing sight of the original plan for the story.

Organization

Once your child has finished the story, encourage him to identify which parts of the story fit into the categories: beginning, middle, and end. For added clarification, you may even identify the climax, conflict resolution, and/or morals. Because the app presents the story with a chronological set of images, there is not much your child will have to organize prior to making the story. However, after the story is complete, it is important to look back at how each event was arranged within the context of the tale, identifying cause and effect relationships among pages.

Writing

Using this app walks your child through the basic stages of writing: generating ideas, determining significant details, organizing her thoughts, and presenting the information to an audience. The more stories she creates, the more familiar she will become with the writing process.

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, and that is what Story Builder helps with the most. Once the questions are finished, have your child listen to their full story and write or type out what she has created. She will have produced a great story draft that she can add further detail to, or show off to friends and family.

Creative Book Builder

This app lets users write, edit, and publish ebooks on the go. While younger users might find this app to be a bit complex, any kids can use it with a little help from an adult. Find out more on iTunes.

 

StoryKit

This app lets kids create an electronic storybook of classic stories or original ideas. Users can add illustrations, text, and even sound effects to make a fun and creative storybook to share with their friends and family. Find out more on iTunes.

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