Digital Books

Recently added to the Survival Tips for Teachers!

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. – Vladimir Nabakov

During one of my teaching internships, my mentor had us create books we read to children from the Boys and Girls Club. I still have my construction paper book with my poor drawings. My artistic abilities didn’t matter to the kids who were just excited to have someone spend time with them. Our learners have the power to greatly impact others with their creations. This holiday season we can get them to create digital books that help others. Fortunately, several free web tools and apps help students quickly and easily create and publish digital books. Keep scrolling to access my bookmarks of free web tools and apps for creating digital books on any device. I’ve included some ideas below and a slide presentation with tips and resources to get students creating digital books that help those around them while learning.

Enjoyed these resources? Get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or Learning to Go.


Students can learn math, science and literature while helping feed others by creating cookbooks. I recommend using BookCreator, Issuu, Slipp.It, or Google Docs. Enhance the cookbooks by getting students to include short how to videos, images, or audio clips of interviews explaining the science, history, traditions or origins of the recipe.

  • Our family recipes and traditions cookbook– create a class cookbook in which students share a traditional recipe and include information about the traditions and origins of the dish. Students can interview family members to discover the history behind the dish and the traditions surrounding it.
  • Special diet cookbook–  students can work in pairs to create cookbooks for those with different allergies who require special diets or for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Science experiments you can eat– students can learn the science behind making homemade ice cream, taffy, or fizzy potions. Check out these bookmarks for ideas.

More Book Ideas
More ideas for book projects, include the following:

  • Digital scrapbook– students can take their paper scrapbooks and transform them into digital scrapbooks so that they preserve these family memories for life.
  • Nature book– students work with the local park or campsites to document the plants, animal life, bugs, birds, and other species that visitors will be able to see. Students add important resources and information like maps, diagrams, images, important facts, and more. Many local parks have these documented onpaper and could benefit from having a digital book that encourages people to spend time outdoors visiting the park.
  • Books to help local museums or charities
  • Goal journals– students can work in pairs or small groups to create journals for specific goals like a runner’s journal or study journal. They leave entries for each day of the year for people to record their progress and reflect. Each entry can include songs, quotes, anecdotes, famous people, interviews, Ted Talks, and other motivational resources.
  • Learning books for younger relatives or for a class of young learners– your students can create books that teach children the alphabet, animals, to be better citizens, or are full of jokes related to science, math, history, or grammar. Students can visit the class and read them their digital books.
  • A book starring their younger siblings as superheroes or having an adventure.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Have students map out their books and create outlines
  • Students will need to conduct research and curate their research
  • I recommend these tools and apps for students of all ages: Little Bird Tales,
  • Storybird, Toondoo, StoryKit, and Book Creator. Find more in the book marks below.
  • Get students to help you create a digital textbook. You can use tools like Google Docs or iBooks Author. Find examples of student created textbooks in the presentation above. Some impressive examples are these iBooks by 5th grade special education students (, the interactive field guide of created by 7th graders (, these German student iBooks (, Google Doc books created by English language learners in Argentina (, the WordPress Living Textbook by middle school students (, the history book created on a Wiki ( and the geography and science textbooks created by 3rd graders using Livebinders (
  • You can curate a digital textbook with tools like Livebinders, Scoop.It or Flipboard.
  • Older students can create books for younger siblings or relatives or adopt a younger class and write books to later read to the children. They could write books teaching younger kids math, the alphabet, or other concept. They could write joke books, books starring that child, or books filled with finger chants.
  • If you want to include images try using free public domain clipart or creative common images. Check out my bookmarks to find images,
  • Discover more about creating digital books and even create a textbook with hundreds of teachers and mentors in my free open online course held every January,

Challenge: Get your students to create a digital book.
Ebook Creation, by shellyterrell


Try any of these ideas or tools with your students and share their work!

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachersor my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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