I recently stumbled upon Google Story Builder and found it to be a great way to engage students in writing, which I find is half the battle in classrooms today. In this post I wanted to share a short demonstration of how Google Story Builder works along with some ideas for using this cool writing tool in the classroom.
If Google Story Builder is new to you, it basically allows users to create short video stories that appear to be done inside of a Google Document while collaborating with others. Google has actually used this in the past to create a short commercial demonstrating the collaboration features of Google Docs.
Here is a breakdown of how it works…
To begin, simply go to http://docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/.
Click the “Get started” button to start writing your story.
The first thing your story requires is characters. I chose myself and my dog Copper as characters for this story (see image below), then clicked the “Write story” button.
Now the writing begins. Simply type a sentence or two to start your story. As the image below shows, I wrote “I need to pick up milk at the store today.” From there, I switched to Copper and replaced milk with dog treats.
Once finished, I chose to “Add music” and then “Finish up”.
My first thought after using Google Story Builder is that students of almost any age will love it. I was personally entertained for well over an hour. I can see this tool being used at almost any grade level and content area. Students can use to demonstrate their knowledge on a variety of topics while working independently or in groups. I also like the fact that the end result can be shared to a larger audience, which is a key component in getting students to put more time and effort into writing. What ways can you or your students use Google Story Builder?