Updated: Jun 10
I love working on the skill of generating fictional narratives with students, but prior to 2020 I almost exclusively used physical games and the occasional PDF as opposed to online writing games or apps. One silver lining of the switch to teletherapy (when did that happen again? time no longer has meaning) has been the discovery of so many cool digital resources and activities that can be used online as well as during in-person sessions.
Some of my favorite physical games for working on writing narratives that I've still been pulling out during teletherapy sessions are:
This game comes with pictures and tiny manipulatives similar to Dinky Doodads that can be used to create a story. The pictures and objects also have many other language uses such as describing, naming from a description, comparing/contrasting, and categorizing.
This is an old favorite that involves taking turns rolling dice to reveal pictures that can be incorporated into a story.
Students spin the spinner to land on story components such as the setting, a villain, a magical object, and then select from several choices. This is also available as a few different series of card games.
Flip over cards to reveal words that need to be incorporated into the story, students then use the words to try and recall what happened in order to retell it.
Below is a list of online games and digital resources that can also be used to address the skill of writing narratives:
Students can make choices throughout an animated Sesame Street story to change what happens. Ideal for preschoolers.
Similar to the above but a little less juvenile than Sesame Street, students make choices throughout each story such as choosing vehicles for the characters to ride and choosing what the problem is. Good for preschoolers and younger elementary schoolers. This game and the above work especially well for practicing story-retell.
Students choose backgrounds, props, and characters to place on a stage (great for other expressive language goals) and can then narrate the play. Best for younger elementary schoolers.
Similar to the game above, students choose characters, settings, and props. It's a little more advanced in that it allows you to choose three different settings so that the story has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. It also allows you to choose character emotions. Best for younger elementary schoolers.
This website allows you to create a multi-page story featuring Spot the dog by choosing backgrounds, characters, and props. Ideal for elementary schoolers.
Includes pages that have lines for adding text and boxes for drawing illustrations. Students can easily print or save their stories. Great for elementary schoolers including older elementary.
I created this digital resource to provide ideas for generating creative narratives. It's loaded with interesting (sometimes bizarre) fantasy scenes that can be used as a jumping off point for developing a story idea. It also includes a graphic organizer for coming up with characters, setting, problem, solution and then creating a bulleted plan before writing the first draft. The scenes are detailed so they're loaded with vocabulary and are perfect for addressing other language goals like describing and sentence formulation. Great for older elementary, middle, and high school.
Students can easily create their own comic strips by choosing backgrounds, dragging and dropping characters/props and adding text to speech or thought bubbles. You can get started designing right away but will need to create a free account if you want to save students' work. Great for older elementary, middle, and high schoolers.
This site is similar to ABCYa's Storymaker where students can create multiple pages that include text and images. In addition to drawing illustrations, students can add and then totally customize characters and objects for each page. Students can add a back cover to practice writing a description of their book. When their child's book is complete, parents can actually order a printed copy!
This is another free site that allows students to make "storyboards" (essentially comic strips). They can choose backgrounds, characters, objects, speech bubbles, shapes/icons, and more! Since there are tons of options and small buttons that can be used for customizing scenes, this activity is more ideal for middle and high school students than elementary.
Similar to the above, this free online game allows students to create their own comic strips. Students choose between 1, 4, or 8 editable panels and then add elements like avatars, objects, and text bubbles. They can even design their own avatar which is great for using descriptive language! There is another version of this same game but using the same layout but familiar character options (like the Ninja Turtles and Alvin & the Chipmunks) called Mega Cartoon Creator!
Here are two FREE iPad/iPhone apps that can also be used to work on generating narratives:
Students can create an original story by adding pictures from your device, typing the text, and/or adding audio for narration or sound-effects.
Allows you to create story pages by drawing illustrations or using pictures from your device. Students can also add text or thought bubbles.
Have fun writing creatively with your students and feel free to let me know of any other great resources that belong on this list!