Scenes from the Digital Storytelling Project

Yesterday, we launched right into using iMovie for digital storytelling around narrative writing. I gave another brief overview of iMovie, which followed some visual tutorials last week, and then I turned them loose on the laptops for the rest of the period. For the most part, it was successful, with me jumping around the room, helping kids and kids helping kids (I always encourage them to help each other).

Every student was well underway with turning their narrative paragraph about a memory object into a digital story. Everyone had some sort of image (if they forgot a picture, they had to draw one) or they were taking pictures of their items (baseballs, trophies, stuffed animals, pocket watches, heirlooms, scrapbook pictures of pets, etc.) and they were layering their voices into the mix. The most difficult and time-consuming part of this project is syncing the time of the narration with the time of the photos.

Today, I will be showing them how to use Freeplay Music to add a soundtrack and my goal is to have them complete the bulk of the project today. My original intent was to have another full day tomorrow, but we have a field trip planned (the date got changed suddenly) so I am rushing them along a bit faster than I would have liked.

I am still mulling over how to share out the final projects, so they can view each other’s digital stories. I teach four classes, and friends want to know what their friends in other classes are doing. one option is to burn a DVD. Another is to use our class YouTube account and upload directly from the Macs into that account, and then create playlists. I am open to other options, if you have any ideas.

I want to emphasize that this began as a writing project — the narrative paragraph — with the digital story as a final step. The writing came first. Here is an example of the narrative paragraph from a student, which has become their “script” for the digital story.

I have only had one dog that I actually remember. Her name is Bella and she is five years old (her sixth birthday is coming up- April 1st). She is a black lab. We got her at a place where the owners (one of the owners was my soccer coach) kept having the mom dog give birth and then they would sell the puppies. So, she came from a big family. All her brothers and sisters were either black labs, yellow labs, or chocolate labs, and the mom was a yellow lab. We got her because my brother and I wanted a dog really badly. We kept asking and asking our parents if we could get a dog but they kept saying no. But finally they told us we were going for a ride to give my coach money that we owed her. When we got there we realized we were there to get a dog. My brother and I got to play with the dogs, but mostly the one that my parents had already picked out a few days back. When my parents were secretly there days before when they were deciding on what dog to get Bella (who had the name “no collar” at the time because she was the only dog without a collar) was on my mom’s lap and she started chewing on the zipper to her purse. At that time my parents knew that was the right dog to get. She is important to me because my family and I love her very much and I wish she would be able to live as long as I will. When I see Bella many memories from when we first got her (and other memories from after we got her also) come to mind. Now you have learned about the history of my dog, do you have any memories form an animal like mine?

Peace (in the story),

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