Narrative Writing as Digital Storytelling

I’m pretty excited about today and tomorrow because my sixth graders are going to be using their narrative paragraph writing (they wrote about a concrete memory object that represents a strong memory) as the script for creating a digital story on iMovie. They are excited because they haven’t used the Mac cart much this year (the PC cart is in our room and the Mac cart is in high demand for the younger grades).

On Friday, I walked them through a bit on how to use iMovie. A show of hands indicated that only about 12 of my 80 students have ever used iMovie, so it will be a real experience for them. We have used PhotoStory3, the PC version of digital storytelling, so they have some understanding of the meshing of image, and narration, and music.

But iMovie is another level. It’s more sophisticated, but still, pretty easy to use. Lucky for me, I immersed myself in iMovie recently for a Digital Storytelling Workshop that I led. (see website resource).

What I worry about is whether they will remember to bring in their photos, or their flash drives, or the object itself (we will use Photobooth to take pictures, if we need to). They need to have their resources in order to begin the project and we only have the cart for a few days. We’ll see ….

What I like about the project is that it:

  • reinforces paragraph writing;
  • shifts from concrete to abstract;
  • gets at an emotional center for the students;
  • adds true voice to the mix;
  • allows them to use another technology tool for creative composition;
  • is limited in scope and therefore, is doable in short amount of time.

You can see my sample at the top of this post (about the tea cup). And this video collection is from a few years ago and they were done with Photostory. Pay attention to the voices. You don’t get that emotional connection with words on the page. That’s the power of digital storytelling.

Peace (in the story),

  1. The bell is about to go for me to begin the day’s teaching and have just been browsing my google reader. I love this idea. I don’t have access to imovie because of no Apples here in our school! I’m a fan though!
    However we do use photostory3 and I think I will get some of the students to publish their personal narratives that we are doing at the moment.
    I look forward to your sharing some of the student’s work, I would love to share them with my class. We have done Book Trailers using photostory3, but not in this way. Thanks for the push!

  2. Pingback: Success, Struggles with Digital Storytelling | Kevin's Meandering Mind

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