Wednesday, December 12, 2012

21st Century Writing: Digital Storybooks

Students are crafting their personal narratives in earnest this week now that our poetry celebration is behind us.

What inspires this lengthy journey of telling a tale from one's life with voice, craft and organization?

Audience and tech will inspire the process.

I played around with a number of venues and decided to use the Google docs-Kid Pix-iMovie-YouTube combo for this project.  Our audience will be Ms. Aker's third grade classroom. Later, I outline the process in the post, Why Story?,  with greater detail.

What does the creation path look like?  The path takes a number of steps, steps that are outlined on this Why Story? post and with the steps below:
  1. Exemplar: I'll create an exemplar. We've already studied the genre through the use of storybooks and Fletcher's Fig Pudding and Marshfield Dreams. I have been using the exemplar to guide the process, and the students have been helping me edit my exemplar to make it better. The movie below is the new, improved version that responds to the class edit and suggestions.               
  2. Storyboards: Students will complete  storyboards depicting the story step by step with sketches and notes.
  3. Story Mountain: They'll study the story mountain.  We'll talk about the typical path many stories take from beginning (introduction of problem, characters and setting) to rising action (plot) to climax (slow it down for effect) to resolution (how it ended) heart (the meaning) and finally the final statement leaving the reader with something to "take home," think about later and/or savor.
  4. Google Presentation Draft:  Students will draft their stories on Google Presentation following the story mountain planner. (Note that one positive aspect of this project is that image informs story, and story informs image so students moved back and forth between illustration and writing as they crafted their stories.)
  5. Editing:  Editing by self, with peers and by teachers until the text "makes a vivid movie" in the reader's mind.
  6. Illustration: Students will illustrate on Kid Pix, by hand, with photos and/or a combination or other venue.
  7. iMovie: Students will download their text and illustrations to to Power Point and save to the desk top as Power Point Pictures.  Then they'll import each picture to iMovie, extend the length of the clip to 60s to start, record themselves on iMovie reading the text for each picture, and then correct the clip length so that it is just a second or two longer than the recording.
  8. Extras: Students can add "page turner" or other transitions, sound effects and music if desired.
  9. Celebration: Students will print their Google Presentation copies and make a book for the third grade audience.  Students will practice reading the book aloud to peers in preparation for our final celebration--a story share celebration with Ms. Aker's class.  We'll bring the laptops or sign out the lab and share the stories with that class.  We'll be able to easily share the stories with friends near or far too since the stories will be on YouTube.  We will print hard copies too, and give the copies to our third grade friends.
The path is set for another exciting learning journey--a journey of writing, reading, speaking and multimedia composition.  That's the way most stories will be created and shared in the future.