ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker

It’s no secret that children love stories, particularly with visually pleasing pictures. Storybooks are always a crowd pleaser: not only do kids love them, but they can also be valuable learning tools. Books help children learn vocabulary, sound out words, and use their imagination. Imagine the possibilities if children could create their own stories! Students can then practice not only their reading but their writing too, stretching their brains even further.

I originally found ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker through Tammy’s Technology Tips for Teachers, a website with many great resources for current and future educators. Reinforcing Prepositions with the ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker (as seen on Monarch’s Librarian Blog) gives an in-depth example of how it could be used for a classroom purpose. With Picture Book Maker, you can use a variety of backgrounds, stickers, and layouts to create your own storybook.

This Youtube video below by Adam Bellow is a great overview of how to use ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker. It explains how to use the different features as well as how to apply it to a classroom setting. Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9a7mqiTY2A?rel=0

To create your book, you can choose if you want to start with the cover, pages, or back. A variety of backgrounds are available to choose from which, when picked, will fill up the spread of the pages.

You can adjust the size and actions of the animals by clicking the easy-to-use arrow sliders on the left and right.

You can adjust the size and actions of the animals by clicking the easy-to-use arrow sliders on the left and right.

There are also four animals to choose from to make a scene with. Once an animal is selected, you can adjust the size of it, as well as what action it is doing. There are several variations of positions and expressions for each animal. Other decorations to the scene are provided too, including clouds, trees, fences, balls, and more. If you want to delete an item, simply drag it over to the bottom right where it says “bin” and it will disappear.

Add a text box by clicking the pencil.

Add a text box by clicking the pencil.

Students are able to add text to the pages wherever they would like. Click the pencil and then the page and a text box will appear. You may type however much you choose and adjust the size of the text just as you would with any of the stickers.

You can email your storybook to yourself or to a friend to keep a copy of it.

You can email your storybook to yourself or to a friend to keep a copy of it.

When you are done with your book and wish to save it, press “finish book.” You will be given the options to send, print, or further edit your storybook. It is important to note that these books cannot be saved to your computer, so if you wish to keep a copy of your book, you should email it to yourself or a friend. The form provided allows you to send it over and over again to different people if you like and adds the book to the gallery. When choosing to print your book, a popup appears giving instructions on how to fold the story to make it look like a real book.

ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker is a great tool for teachers and students. Teachers can use it to explain information that is immediately relevant to their lessons. Students can be creative and innovative while practicing their writing and technology skills. A great use for this cool tool would be for students to be asked to create a story using the vocabulary/spelling words they were assigned that week. Students can also play with the size of different animals and objects, allowing them to practice words relating to location such as, “close,” “far,” “near,” “above,” etc.

Both a feature and drawback of this tool are the limitations relating to choices of stickers and designs. It can be unhelpful if a teacher wishes to have the students discuss something other than animals, however, if the main point is to discuss adverbs or adjectives, the few options can be beneficial. Too often students get caught up in the aesthetics of  assignments and the actual material gets lost on them; Picture Book Maker produces visually appealing stories without too many distractions that students will obsess over for hours.

A blog post named Picture Maker found on the Higher Order Learning Blog explains the limitations of the site and offers ways to work around them. A problem with Picture Book Maker is that the stories can only be 3 pages long, so the author suggests challenging students to make a book series to further develop their ideas. He also offers the idea of putting screenshots into iMovie so students can narrate the stories and add special effects. Definitely check out the post and comment below your thoughts about these creative solutions.

So tell me what you think! Would you use Picture Book Maker in your classroom? Have you used any tool similar to this before? Give it a try and make your own story! And while you’re at it, check out my own story made with Picture Book Maker and look at the related links below.

Click on the cover of my book to see my storybook I made with Picture Book Maker!

Click on the cover of my book to see my storybook I made with Picture Book Maker!

  • Culture Street: ArtisanCam is no longer being updated, so many activities once used on ArtisanCam are now being more frequently updated on this website. It only takes a quick and free sign-up to be able to use all it has to offer, including the Picture Book Maker!
  • Picture Book Maker blog post : a post reviewing Picture Book Maker on iLearn Technology, a blog entirely dedicated to review websites related to integrating technology into the classroom
  • Comic Book Maker: also by ArtisanCam (and available on Culture Street too,) a similar layout but with more complex and mature graphics that will appear to an older classroom
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17 Responses to ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker

  1. Kelly F. says:

    Tabitha- This program, sounds amazing! I can easily see myself using this to have a class write about something (i.e. the animals that live in Africa) and then give it to them to keep. I remember the days when I would write/draw something about my day and the teachers would have it spiral bound and I loved it! Although, as you said, it’s pretty simplistic, and would probably be used for a younger class.

  2. B. Taylor says:

    Thanks Tabitha for doing a great job showing those who plan to teach elementary grades a cool way to motivate students to write and create. There are several similar tools teachers can use with young students. Each tool has its own limitations when used for free, so check them out and see which one best meets your needs. Storybird and StoryJumper (use Explore link at top to see examples in each of these), ZooBurst (creates pop-up books – check Gallery link at top for examples), Little Bird Tales (can upload own artwork and record voice; check out lesson plans and public tales links at top – and there’s an app for that!)

    • Maria H. says:

      Professor Taylor,
      All of these cool tools look and seem like actual books, even though they are used on a multimedia device! That is my favorite part of ArtisanCam Picture Book Maker and the other tools you linked to in your comment. Especially Little Bird Tales, you can record your own voice, just like Voki! One can be used for younger students, and the other for more mature students. All of these options are great for the classroom. Thanks!

  3. Angie E. says:

    Hey Tabitha! Good Job! As soon as I saw this tool I knew that some of my kindergarteners would love it! I was thinking that the limited character choices could be helpful for some students who are easily distracted. As you point out, young students will usually spend more time on the appearance of a product like this than the content of it. I know I did when I was in elementary and middle school. I also love the idea of using Picture Book Maker for students to practice their vocabulary words. Thanks for pointing out some of the drawbacks as well. A three-page book might make a good center activity, but a book series could be a great project. It’s great that these can be easily shared with parents through email or even a printout. Thanks again!

  4. Anna B. says:

    Hey Tabitha! I LOVE this tool! I think it is so cute and so fun! It disappoints me that you can only have three pages, but as way to use that drawback effectively would be to have students create a book using Picture Book Maker that summarizes something else they have already read. With the three page limit, it will force students to really decide what is and is not important enough to include in a summary, teaching them summarizing skills! This tool is easy to use and you are so right about students (and teachers) obsessing over a tool that has tons of options- it takes up so much time trying to decide which font to use or which color hair looks best on a character! With the limitations of characters and settings, it decreases the amount of time a user spends on making the pictures perfect, and increases the amount of time they spend on the actual content of the story. Great job!

  5. Chelsea R. says:

    I love this! It would be really convenient to use when teaching a segment on weather with all of the vocabulary words for that has to do with weather. I think that this is so easy to use when we can’t find a book to use for a topic. My favorite part is that it seems to be very easy to create a book for students without it becoming too complicated. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sara R. says:

    Tabitha, I think that this is an excellent tool that can allow students to take ownership of what they are reading! I recall making a story with a kindergartener while I was in fifth grade and incorporating him into the story–he absolutely loved it! I can definitely see this tool being used for the same purpose! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Katie H. says:

    Great post Tabitha! I think this tool is excellent for all young students. Taking information that they learned and being able to create their own stories would make them so much more interested in what they are learning. I know that if I had access to this tool when I was younger I would have loved to create my own online books. All students love creating their own works that they can be proud of and this is definitely one of those tools. Thanks for the awesome info!

  8. Steph G. says:

    Tabitha, this tool is SO CUTE. It almost makes me wish my future students would be younger so I could use this. I think students would be so proud of themselves if they took what they knew and turned it into an online storybook. Your visuals are also awesome! Thank you so much!

  9. Winna P. says:

    Steph, I totally agree! I love this tool. In first grade I created my own picture book with an actual hard back cover and pages I illustrated myself. At the time I was so proud of myself and LOVED my story book, but with the changing of technology this tool is way cooler and also makes me feel a little old! Thanks for sharing, Tabitha!

  10. Sydney R. says:

    This is so adorable Tabitha! I too used to create my own stories in elementary school, but since I had to illustrate them myself, they weren’t very pretty. I can totally see myself using this with my kindergarten students in the future. The final products looks so nice and professional. Love it, great job!

  11. Robin G. says:

    I am so impressed with the qualities of this tool! Not only is it a great learning enhancement, it also looks so fun! This is a tool that I would enjoy using in my spare time 🙂 Most importantly, though, using this tool in a classroom will engage the students, teach them summarizing skills, and serve as a creative outlet that can be combined with academics! I cannot wait to use this tool in my future classroom. Thanks for the great post!

  12. Laura H. says:

    Your book is very cute! This seems like a great tool and I think that kids would really enjoy using. It looks so fun. It is great that they can create this and then be able to view it and share it! Good job Tabitha!

  13. Chelsea S. says:

    Thank you so much for an awesome post! As I was reading it I was a little bummed that you can only choose from 4 different animals. But like you said, it makes it easier for the kids not to get caught up in all the aesthetics of their book. Having a digital book will also make it easier for adults in general be able to see that the child is talking about a giraffe instead of trying to decipher what the child drew! I think it helps children learn about being organized and neat in a way.

  14. Alexia M. says:

    Tabitha, this is a great post about an awesome tool! I have never heard of ArtisanCam before, but I can definitely see myself using it as a future teacher. I liked your point about the fewer options of pictures to add to the book make it less distracting. It is true that sometimes trying to make a project look nicer can take away from the actual point of the project. Thanks for a great post!

  15. Mary F. says:

    Tabitha, such a great great tool!! I really think that younger kids would really love this tool and get a lot out of it. Definitely a disappointment that you can only have three pages but little kids tend to ramble on anyways so it might be better that they have to keep it short and to the point! This is really such a cute idea that I can definitely see myself using in the classroom. Thanks for a fantastic idea and post!!

  16. Victoria B. says:

    Tabitha, I love the idea of the Picture Book maker! However, I tried to play around with it and I didn’t like it all that much. The page limitation and small selection of graphics was a bit of a disappointment to me. I think the idea is great, the company could just improve upon. I checked out Professor Taylor’s recommendation of Story Jumper and I loved it. You should check it out!

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