By Jessica Sanders
Many teachers have trouble getting their students to write more than a paragraph while maintaining substance. This could be for a variety of reasons, whether students are struggling to find something to write about or just get bored writing on the same topic for long periods of time.
Luckily, there are many tools available to you that encourage students to write more. Here are 15 writing apps that stand out among the rest for encouraging creativity, deeper engagement with texts and more.
Writing Prompts for Kids
Sometimes it’s difficult for students to begin writing without any sort of inspiration. Writing Prompts for Kids gives them the inspiration they need—more than 1,000 fun, creative prompts—to get their creative juices flowing.
The coolest part of this app is that students are given a situation, a character, a setting and an object. This allows them to focus on creating their story, rather than brainstorming ideas to get started.
Bonus: Use this app as a way to track student writing homework. Simply favorite assigned prompts and then head to your “favorites” section to read through them later.
If your students often say, But I always run out of things to write about, use this app and you’ll never hear that excuse again. Writing Challenge gives students one writing prompt to start with and a specific amount of time to run with that prompt.
After the time frame is up, they’re given another prompt to weave into their story. This gives them something new to write about while challenging them to come up with creative ways to expand their story.
Encourage students to write about the books they’re reading with a blog post-style response, facilitated by Whooo’s Reading. This online reading log tool has built-in, CCSS-aligned blog post prompts that encourage students can write about what they read.
Not only are students pushed to write more than just a few simple sentences, forcing them to engage with the text on a deeper level, but you can also see and score the response, allowing you to assess their comprehension, making it one of the most helpful writing apps for teachers and students.
The Right Word
Help students reduce the use of commonly misused words with this fun app. Students choose from one of four games, to discover a variety of misused words. Pair this with a writing assignment and require students to choose four words to include in their piece, using them in the correct way.
Write About This
The Write About This app has a student-friendly interface that will encourage all students to write more, even struggling writers. It comes pre-loaded with 125 categorized image-based prompts and 375 text and voice prompts.
Before writing, students need to find inspiration and organize their ideas. With Moodboard Lite, they can keep all their inspiration, including photos, text snippets and color pallets (which they can create within the app), on one board.
Bonus: Students can share their boards and export them.
Writing doesn’t always have to be done in a word doc or on a blogging platform. Have students “write a book” instead. With Book Creator, they can write their story and then bring it to life with images, video or even their own voice.
Before students can write a story or book report, they need to brainstorm their ideas. Encourage students to write better by coming up with a clear plan beforehand. Use a tool like MindMeister, which allows students to create mind maps, to facilitate this process. They can start with one main idea, add their characters, plot line ideas and more.
Little Bird Tales
This engaging app can be used for all kinds of writing, including journaling, storytelling, history timelines and more. What makes Little Bird Tales unique among the rest of the writing apps is the inclusion of pre-made lesson plan templates, perfect for a day when you need a last-minute idea.
Encourage students to write anytime, anywhere, with this Apple app. With Werdsmith, students’ writing is synced, and can be accessed from any Apple device, including iPads and iPhones. What makes this really cool is the sharing feature—students can share their writing to get feedback. Use this encourage peer-to-peer feedback and collaboration.
This is a brainstorming app students will love using. The Brainstormer has three spinning wheels, each one corresponding to prompts for plot/conflict, subject/location, and theme/setting.
Download the Character Builder Wheel as well to provide students with even more fun ideas for their writing.
Today’s classroom is all about digital, but getting a hardcover version of the book a student created may be just the motivation they need to spend more time writing. Use Storyjumper over the course of a quarter, giving students time to work on their story every week.
Choose a panel of judges (principal, other teachers, reading specialist) to pick the top three completed books, and award these students with a physical copy of their book, which you can order through the site. Other students can order a paperback or digital version as well.
If students have a hard time brainstorming original ideas, let them use one of the pre-made storylines in Scribble Press. When finished, they can publish privately or publicly, giving them an authentic audience for their hard work.
Encourage struggling writers to pen a comic book instead of a traditional piece of writing. With Comic Life, this process is both fun and simple for students, thanks pre-loaded images, word bubbles and lettering styles. Students can become more comfortable with writing while developing their own comic book style.
Encourage students to expand their writing vocabulary with Spelling City. The assignment is simple: students play the vocabulary game of their choosing and then must use the words they learned in a new story. They could also use their new words as inspiration for story ideas, plotlines and more.
If your students are hesitant to write more than a few sentences, use these writing apps to spark creativity and give them something to focus on.