Other Writing Workshop Stuff

We are thinking about using Prezi as a next step.

Fifth graders are using WeVideo as a primary tool, but mashing in content created in other apps such as Pizap or online media converters, to create a multimedia presentation of their "Where I'm From" poems. All media forms are stored and shared via Google Drive. It's a blast! And we're going to share the final pieces here when they're done.

Personal Narrative using Movie Maker

Written story:

The mentor text for the above piece was My Side of the Story by Adam Bagdasarian

"Digital Storytelling is a unique transformative process. The projects begin with an idea, just an idea—or, in some cases, an assignment from an instructor. The idea transforms into a script. The script becomes a voiceover. The creator is forced to read the words aloud. That act alone transforms flat text to active language. It is active because it now must be heard, and an action takes place between speaker and listener. Next, images are added. The visual addition transforms the words beyond the speaker’s voice, the listener’s ear, and adds another chance for sensory engagement. While the eyes, ears, and mind work together to receive the information, the spirit must also comprehend the story. A transformation has taken place.

This transformation does not only affect the audience. Digital Story creators are also transformed through the process of creating their project. What began as just an idea becomes investigated, dissected, considered, rejected, accepted, included, and ultimately, culminated into one finished project that is only about three minutes long."

from: Community College of Denver, Media Services page:


WHAT IS DIGITAL STORYTELLING - FROM DigitalStories@UMBC (University of Maryland)

Here are some more examples of digital storytelling:

Personal Narrative using Voicethread

Where I'm From Poem using Movie Maker

Written poem:

Reflection on Where I'm From Poem:

The quote above from Community College of Denver states that "Digital Storytelling is a ... transformative process." When I first wrote my "Where I'm From" poem along with a 2012 fifth grade class, I organized it by my mother's side of my family, my father's side, my growing up years, and my later years. I thought it was great because I had all these picturesque memories in my head. Once I started choosing the pictures, the pictures that were all inside my head and putting them into a movie timeline, I realized that my actual WORDS were probably not creating those images inside the minds of my readers. Unless you're Scandinavian, or perhaps a world traveler, you may not have a clue what Frikadeller is or what kind of place Tivoli is. You might not make the connection between mermaids and Viking ships because the connection is Denmark and Hans Christian Andersen. I was assuming too much background knowledge on the part of my readers, who were only in fifth grade.

Therefore, I needed more descriptive language, more obvious and less implied connections. My writing had to be clearer. Fifth graders may not have read "The Outsiders" yet, so the words "stay gold" may not ring the same bell as they would for an eighth grader. They may not know what the streets of old Philadelphia looked like, so I needed to add what I saw in the picture: cobblestones and trolley tracks.

Finally, as an example of higher level writing and compositional risk-taking, I wanted to add some connection between the beginning and the end. Philosophically, fifth graders may not think about how life is a one-way road because they're only looking ahead, not back and the long road behind them. I decided to parallel the concept by referring to the one-way course my great-grandparents charted across the ocean from Denmark.

The result is the 2014 revision of my Where I'm From poem:

You can decide for yourself which sounds better!

Windows Applications to use:
Windows Movie Maker
Adobe Photo Suite

Chromebook-compatible Applications (online):

Apple - sorry, I don't have one!


LA.5.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL5 - [Anchor Standard] - Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
LA.5.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.5 - [Grade Level Standard] - Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

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