Saturday, February 12, 2011

Digital Storytelling

I was over on Amanda's blog One Extra Degree & was inspired to post about my own adventures into the land of Digital Storytelling.

My districts ELL program really pushed Digital Storytelling this year. So much so that we had a Professional Development dedicated to it. Actually it makes perfect sense because it is a perfect way for out ELL students to share some wonderful stories. So at the end of the 1st quarter, at the end of October, I jumped feet first and into the film industry. Ha, ha!

At the time my students were working on "3 page stories", which means stories with a beginning, middle & end. This helped me a great deal because I could then have them illustrate a picture for each page. Yes, the stories are not terribly long. Really, they are pretty short, but it was the start of 1st grade. I want to do it again at the end of the year, to show the growth my students have made.

After my students wrote, edited & illustrated their stories it was my turn to get to work. I had each student come to me one at a time & we took pictures of them & their illustrations in Photo booth. This was a tip I got at the Professional Development. This way I didn't have to upload the pictures onto my computer, they were already loaded & I could delete them easily when it came to the next student.

Once the pictures/ illustrations were finished I moved to iMovie. Here we recorded the audio to go with the pictures. I recommend tinkering around with it a few times. It took me about 3 stories/ films to really get the hang of it. After a few stories I realized I could use the "Project Themes" to embellish each movie.

When they were all finished we celebrated by watching all the movies & eating some popcorn. Lots of fun. The students loved watching their creations on the "big" screen, my projector. :) I have to admit, they are not riveting stories, & the editing is not perfect, but for a 1st attempt I think they turned out pretty well.

Our Technology Liaison then put them up on our school website. Our students were then able to share with their classmates & families. I struggled with posting these because my students faces & names are shown, but I decided that they were already posted online & the families do know about it. SO if you are interested in watching a few you can find them here.

One last note, I do want to mention that Amanda has created some great templates for both the teachers & students to use while creating these wonderful stories. Head on over to One Extra Degree to check them out. You can also purchase them on her TPT store.

 I realize I did not get very technical with steps on how to operate iMovie but I am not very good at that. I do believe that there are some tutorials online on how to do it. However, I do hope you all try some digital story telling. It was fun & the kiddos LOVED it.


  1. I am intrigued with this. I think I want to try it. We don't have Macs, so I am thinking photostory. Yours are cute! Thanks for sharing! It has given me confidence!
    Kim at

  2. This is a great post! I love your digital stories!

  3. Oh Ms. M these are AWESOME! They look so professional. What a wonderful tool for ELL students! I would LOVE to try this with my kids. This is probably a silly question, but how did you take the pics in iPhoto...did you just hold the papers up to the webcam and take the picture? Thanks for sharing, these are so inspiring!

  4. Kim I've never used photostory but you are familiar with it go for it!

    Amanda thanks for the inspiration.

    Ladybug Teacher it's not a silly question. I did not use iPhoto I used Photo Booth & that is exacly what I did I held up the pictures to the webcam.

    Ms. M

  5. Oh my goodness gracious! How cool! I am working on my ESL endorsement as we speak, so I've been looking for things to do with my ESL kiddos. LOVE THIS!



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