10 Fun digital book creator tools and lesson ideas for students
In this blog post, you’ll learn how student authoring tools scaffold students in inquiry-based learning.
You’ll see that you can use online authoring tools in many different ways. That’s why we’ll also give you some fun lesson ideas using digital book creation tools so you can get started right away.
Don’t forget to check out the list with interesting book authoring tools for education that students can use. Every tool is different, so choose wisely.
Why working with digital book creation tools is beneficial for your students
Letting your students work on their book projects comes with many benefits. I’ve made a short list with 5 skills students will develop during their book task.
1. Digital skills
When students are working on their book project, they are working with technology, discovering new things behind every button, and thus developing digital skills.
2. Trigger emotions
A lot of book project lesson ideas trigger students to dig deep. Think about writing poems, interview elderly people, and so on. Many activities even strengthen peer, family, and community relationships.
Students have agency over, and an emotional connection to, the content, generating oxytocin and an interest in learning.
As students are the authors of their own books, they feel more responsible for the result. It’s not just another school task. Students need to take action and deliver a book project they’re proud of.
That’s also why they will need some problem-solving skills and independence. In this case, the teacher is a mentor, and the students are the creators. Students need to take matters into their own hands. If they get stuck, they’ll need to find a way to continue.
4. Writing skills
Of course, this one is probably the most important skill your students will improve. Depending on what they have to write, students will learn to transform theory into practice. For example, you just taught them about writing poems. Now, they have to write their own book full of poems.
5. Creative skills
A book’s not all about text. Students will need to match their story or text with some artwork or images. It will challenge students to make the right creative choices so they can deliver one cohesive book.
15 Lesson activities with online book creation tools
Digital books can be individual projects: a task where every student creates their own digital book. You can also let students collaborate on one joint book. Each participant contributes a piece (e.g.: a chapter) so that in the end, you have one complete digital “class” book project.
1. Covid & me
Let students collect family and community experiences as primary source historical records. It’s kind of a memoir of the students living during these crazy and life-changing Covid-19 times. - Example
2. My favorite recipes
Here, students collect their family’s dispersed cultural food recipes and photos. They visit their grandparents and other family members, inquiring about each individual’s favourite or signature recipe. Then, the students pour all collected recipies into a familiy recipe book that they can be passed down from one generation to the next. - Example
3. My Granddad’s Memoir
Students collect precious family stories, experiences, and ancestry information to create a memoir of their relatives living in different times. - Example
4. My Town’s History
Students collect oral stories within their communities, which is a great way to develop empathy and EQ. Let them visit a nursery or elderly home, for example, where they collect impressive stories from their town. The elderly mostly love sharing their experiences to younger generations! Not only will your students learn more about life back in the day, they’ll also bond with the residents of the elderly home, stengthening their connection with the community. - Example
5. Mother’s Day Book
Every student contributes a poem and picture of their hero or a special person. In this case, the book’s all about mothers for the Mother’s Day school project. - Example
6. Dreams & art
Do you sometimes wake up from a crazy dream? Let your students write down their dreams and include an art piece of that dream in their digital book.
7. Dear diary
Here, students use the book as a digital diary. They can write down what they did during the week, highlight some fun activities like meeting with friends, or visiting a museum. Let them write down one thing they’ve learned, every day.
8. Guide to gardening
When you’re working on a community garden and teaching your students all about gardening and plants, let them write a “guide to gardening”. They can include tips to maintain the garden, drawings of plants and herbs, information about the particularities of each season,…
Do you teach about a specific topic like Fauna and flora, the weather, culture, …? Let students write their own poems about the topic and collect them in a digital book. Ask them to put at least one fact in the poem about what they’ve just learned.
10. DIY manual
When you’re teaching your students about engineering in your STEM course, and you let them build a certain object in wood or other materials, you could let your students create a user manual for their project. A group of students gets to choose what they want to build and they have to map out every little detail in their manual. Then, they give their manual to other groups. The other groups have to try and recreate the object using the created manual.
Speaking about manuals… Let students design and write a survivor rescue manual: “How to survive on a deserted island”. Let them come up with important survival skills, do research, and give tips in their manual. Some manuals will be very serious and well thought out, while others will be so much fun and full of fantasy stories.
12. Let’s get physical
Design a book with educational physical exercises to keep students moving during the day. The students will be the ones that contribute to your book. Each student has to look up, write down, or invent fun physical energizer exercises.
13. Emoji story
Use this interactive emoji wheel, created with BookWidgets, and let students spin the wheel. The first emojis that pop up will dictate their story. Students have to write a fantasy story containing all three emojis. You’ll be surprised by what plays in your students’ minds!
14. Bucket list
Let your students create a book in which they write down their goals in life; specific activities they want to do one day. It’s a list with at least 20 bucket list activities. Let them briefly explain why the activities they chose made the cut, and thus what makes them so special.
15. Joke book
Let your students write their own book full of hilarious jokes. They may invent the jokes themselves, or make a collection of the good old classics we all know and love. It’s not an easy task! A good joke needs to be written well in order for others to get the clue. If your students are more into pranks, this is a nice variant to the jokes. Bonus: students will test their pranks in the classroom or at home, which makes them all the more fun.
10 Online book creation tools for students
FamilyBookform empowers students for grades 6+, to write, speak, interview, and collaborate to collect original content in published books. It comes with some interesting lesson plans that focus on social-emotional learning projects. They really focus on inquiry learning, relationship building & EQ components.
2. Book Creator
Let students create and write their own stories within the Book Creator app. Students can combine text, images, audio, and video to create powerful and interactive stories, digital portfolios, journals, poetry books, science reports, manuals, comic adventures, and much more. Book Creator is an example of an easy-to-use authoring tool for students (and teachers).
Storybird is an adaptable, creative authoring tool for students to enhance lesson plans and assignments for any grade level or subject matter. Just like the ebook creation tools for students mentioned above, Storybird has the ability to purchase digital or print books and poems made by your students.
With Comic life, you bring comics to the classroom. Let students create amazing comics from their own images. The app has a lot of fonts, templates, panels, balloons, captions, and lettering art available to transform your student’s story into a creative comic book. Students could create book reports in comic style, summarize a lesson, develop creative flyers, and so on.
Little Bird Tales is a storytelling and e-learning tool and is great for kids of all ages. Students (or teachers) upload content (images or artwork) to their pages, they record their voice and add text to the pages, and finally, they publish the book.
With StoryJumper, students can create their own storybook, including designing their own characters, adding voices. They can even collaborate on books with other students.
7. Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark isn’t intended to be a student authoring tool, but you can use it as such. Let students create “Spark” videos by adding content and text to pages. They can record their voice on each page. When they publish their work, they will have a video-based storybook.
Did you know that you can create ebooks with Google slides as well? Students create their creative ebook using some amazing Google slides templates for the SlidesGo website. Export the slideshow to an interactive .pdf file, and you have a beautiful ebook made by students.
Kid in Story Book Maker is a storytelling app (iOS) and has several template stories in which teachers or older students can add their picture right into their story. Teachers or students can add their own text and record their voices as well. There’s also a free reader app available, so teachers can share the books with students for at-home reading too.
10. Write about this
This app gives you students just the starter they need to write their own story. Write About This is a writing prompt and creation platform for classrooms and families! There are endless ways to respond and the ability to craft custom photo prompts.
So that’s it. I hope our writing lesson ideas and projects can help you get started with digital books in the classroom.
What’s your favorite lesson idea? Or do you have another fun idea? Let us know on Twitter - @ibookwidgets