Once Upon A Drawing

Creative Communicator


“Use Draw and Tell with individual students who are new to using mobile apps, or those who want to color and draw digitally. After you've offered students a little guidance during the first session or two, this can be a powerful introduction to young kids for creating digital stories with multimedia elements. Teachers may want to challenge kids who are already enthusiastic about art and verbal storytelling to use this app in collaboration with other students to create and record stories together and use different voices for different characters. For reluctant storytellers, the premade coloring pages with cute characters can act as story prompts: What is the lion doing? Who can you add to the picture with a sticker? What will that character say to the lion? Draw and Tell is one of those apps that can really spark imagination and, for kids who love to draw and tell stories, will most certainly be a favorite in the classroom.” -Common Sense Media

Students will:

  • Be able to create a digital story using pictures, stamps, drawing tools, and their voices.
  • Be able to share a story with the class.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Digital Story: A digital story is a story created using online drawing tools, picture tools, and voice recordings.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • The teacher makes sure all devices have the Draw and Tell app available for student use before the lesson.
  • The teacher identifies students who may need support with storytelling, and understand how to scaffold the task for those students.

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Talk to students about a story they might want to create or tell. Ask them who their characters are, what the characters might say to each other, and what the plot of their story is.
  2. The teacher shows the video example of a digital story using the Draw and Tell app. 

  3. Before the students create their story, the teacher may want to have students map out their ideas, or create a script.

  4. The students can draw and then record their story in the Draw and Tell app.

  5. Have the students save their story to their camera roll and submit to the teacher via email or  LMS.

Different options for the teachers to assess the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • You may want to create a rubric for students of elements to include in their story. For instance, some may need to include a beginning, middle and end, while others need help on characterization.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Device: iPad 

App, Extension, or Add-on:
Draw and Tell iOS

Draw and Tell

Draw & Tell from Duck Duck Moose Video


Have students create a collaborative story using the coloring pages and use different voices for characters.


  • Music: Create a drawing based on a song and then record their voice singing the song.
  • PE: Take pictures of students doing exercises and add stamps and voices to show the muscles students are working.
  • Art: Take a picture of their work and narrate a story or tell about the picture.

  • Students record themselves solving a math problem and explain their thinking using the recording tool.

Create a drawing of an animal and tell how it’s colors are an adaptation for its environment.

Draw a map of the classroom and/or school and show that the map represents a place.

This task card was created by Lacey Khon, Kalamazoo RESA, February 2018. Updated October 2023.