As an advocate of the digital writing workshop, I believe that when teaching writing teachers should focus primarily on the process and only secondarily on the product. Such a focus can help students develop the required know-how and skills applicable to different genres of writing. And because technology is almost indispensable in the writing process, I want to draw your attention to these web tools that you can use with your students in different writing stages. I have basically arranged them into the following categories: Digital storytelling tools, Comic strips tools, Mind mapping tools, story starters, Writing mechanics (grammar and style), Graphic organizers, and Tools for publishing students writing.
There is an infographic version of this post which you can access and download from this page.I- Digital storytelling websites1- Story WarsGood for collaborative writing on digital storytelling projects.
2- Story BirdJoin a creative community of story tellers and get inspired to write your own stories.3- Zimmer Twins‘The Zimmer Twins website invites kids to create and share their own animated stories.’4- StoryWeaverIt offers a great story creator tool that allows students to write their own stories and share them with others.II- Comic Strips tools1- Storyboard ThatCreate and narrate your stories using beautiful visuals and storyboards.2-Witty ComicsProvides you with a set of pre-designed characters, scenes and dialogue boxes to write your story. You need to log in to save your work.3- Make Beliefs ComixCreate amazing comics using a wide variety of materials including characters, speech bubbles, props, backgrounds, objects and many more.4- PixtonCreate stunning comics using a drag and drop editor. They can choose from ‘fully posable characters to dynamic panels, props, and speech bubbles, every aspect of a comic can be controlled in an intuitive click-n-drag motion.’III- Mind mappings tools1- Bubbl.usA good tool for creating visually attractive concept maps. No software download required and maps you create can be saved as an image. It also supports different sharing and collaborative features.2- PoppletIt offers various features including: recording notes in different formats with text, images and drawings; link notes to each other; export your final work as PDF or JPEG; supports several languages and many more.3- MindMupLets you ‘create unlimited mind maps for free, and store them in the cloud. Your mind maps are available everywhere, instantly, from any device.’4- LucidchartYou can use Lucidchart to design concept maps, flowcharts and different types of diagrams. It also support collaborative features and works across several devices.
IV- Story starters1- Scholastic Story StartersChoose from four story starter themes: adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and scrambler.2- Cube CreatorOffers you tools to create different story genres including a biography, autobiography, mystery story…etc3- The Story StarterRandomly generates tons of story starters to write a short story, novel, play, movie script…etc4- BoomWriterOffers practical tools to engage students creative writing.
V- Writing mechanics (Grammar and Style)1- GrammarlyHelps you correct spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.2- HemingwayHelps you refine your style and improve language structure and lexicon.3- QuillIt offers various tools to help students with their writing including Quill Grammar and Quill Proofreader.4- OWL‘OWL, which belongs to Purdue University, has a huge online library that features a wide variety of materials covering different writing-related topics such as grammar and mechanics, professional writing, APA and MLA formatting guides, resume writing, research and citation tips, subject-specific writings and many more.’
VI- Websites to publish students writing1- Book creatorAn excellent educational platform to help students create, published share their writing creations.2- Google SitesShare your writing in a website you create and publish on the web3- Google DocsAnother great option to publish one’s writing in various formats including a web link.4- EdubblogsShare your writing in the form of blogposts.
VII- Graphic Organizers1- Plot Diagram‘The Plot Diagram is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.’2- Essay Map‘This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline that includes an introductory statement, main ideas they want to discuss or describe, supporting details, and a conclusion that summarizes the main ideas.’3- Compare and Contrast Map‘This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point.’4- Venn Diagram‘This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles. Students identify and record concepts that can be placed in one of the circles or in the overlapping areas, allowing them to organize their information logically.’5- Persuasion Map‘The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate. Students begin by determining their goal or thesis. They then identify three reasons to support their argument, and three facts or examples to validate each reason.’