Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is a Storybird?

Recently, I blogged about 'Using Art as Inspiration for Writing' on the LDS Writer's Blogck. I have just become aware of a great website where some very talented people are implementing that idea. Storybird,, was created as a place for collaborative storytelling. In their words, 'Storybird reverses the process of visual storytelling by starting with the image and "unlocking" the story inside.
Artist's are invited to go there and submit their artwork. There are no fees. You retain all copyrights and control of your work, and you get the satisfaction of watching kids write stories inspired by your artwork. Booyah!
Storybird has no specific age range, but the designers suggest that is is most appropriate for ages 3-13. With Storybird, families and friends can build stories together, whether they are sitting together at the same computer, or across an ocean from one another. The idea is that one person starts with an image, adds some words and passes the story on to be completed.
When the story is complete you can print it, or share it with your network.
I'm excited about this great new resource. It looks like a lot of fun for both artists and kids who want to be inspired to write.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11th. What does it mean?

What is the significance of November 11th and why are all those Canadians wearing poppies? Americans call it Veterans Day. Canadians call it Remembrance Day, but it all adds up to a day to remember the amazing men who fight for the freedom of our countries.

During World War 1, after losing a friend in the second battle of Ypres, Dr. John McCrae, a Canadian military doctor, wrote this poem.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I can’t think of November 11th without associating it with poppies and this poem. In Elementary School we all memorized it and recited it each Remembrance Day. I hope it will mean as much to you as it does to me. It still makes me stop and think.

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