How do you get students to write? If you settle for paper and pencil, it might be a bit of a struggle. Why not try using some storytelling tools that you can find online? I follow a blog by Ozge Karaoglue (she is @ozge on Twitter) and her June 13th blog was about "Telling Your Stories Through Writing". Her blog had some web sites listed that I had not heard of before and I wanted to share them with you here. Be sure to visit Ozge's blog to find more web tools to use for writing.
The first web site that I would like to share with you is Myths and Legends Story Creator. This web site looks really interesting. First, teachers would need to register their school (which is free), and then students can create their own login information and find their school to join. Teachers can leave messages for students to view about their stories. There is a wide variety of backgrounds for students to select from, a lot of different pictures, text bubbles, etc. to choose from. Students can upload their own images and record sound effects for a particular frame of the story. As the web site name indicates, there are images with castles, knights, dragons, and other mythical items to choose from. This was quick and easy to get started with. I would suggest giving students time to view the images before actually starting their stories. When students are finished, they can submit their story to their teacher.
Another web site that I liked from Ozge's blog was "What-if questions for stories". A lot of time students don't know what to write about. By going to this web site, students can click on the Genie to find a story starter that might get the ideas flowing for students. If the student doesn't like one story starter, they just click for another. I was clicking through and saw this one: "What if a bandit captured a vampire?". I believe that students would really have a lot to write about with this story starter.
Here is my Diigo list of other websites for digital storytelling: http://www.diigo.com/user/dorenebates/digitalstorytelling.
Another great site for student interactives that have to do with digital stories is ReadWriteThink (a partner site of Thinkfinity): http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/.
Come on, let's write!