As I begin my work with the 2010 UW-Milwaukee Writing Project, I am dumbfounded by the amount of things I am learning, creating, and considering each day. It’s intense and priceless, and I hope to share some of my reflections on the experience soon. For right now, I just have time to quickly share two extremely cool resources that I learned about on Day Two: Spicy Nodes and Storybird.

Spicy Nodes are interactive graphic organizers that you can create online. They are really neat due to their animated, limitless nature. You start with a main topic and some surrounding subtopics. Then, by clicking on a subtopic, you get more infomation which can then be complicated even further by clicking and clicking your way through the information. Hard to explain, but easy to see: check out I can imagine many applications for showing and making these in the classroom, especially when it comes to exploring topics with many complex facets.

Storybird is a fantastic website where users can quickly and easily create their own storybook by pairing words with work submitted by professional artists. A Storybird can be completed individually or collaboratively, by emailing the unfinished piece to a new author, who can then add to or edit the story as they see fit. Books can then be published on the website, visible to everyone or just a few, depending on your preference. Go to to try it out. This would be a perfect option for a project where older students create something for younger ones, or even with the younger ones.

Here’s a page from one of my Storybird books (click to make it big!):

Stay tuned for more cool resources and tales from the Writing Project. I love learning!