As the EDUC 566 requirement of my master’s program in General Studies of Education, I enrolled in Dr. Lillian-Yvonne Bertram’s ENG 3021: Digital Storytelling class for the Spring 2016 semester. In this course, we learned about digital storytelling through reading excerpts from the Story Center’s Digital Storytelling Cookbook; watching numerous stories individually, as a whole class, and in small groups; and finally creating two culminating projects that required much editing (text, audio, and visuals) in WeVideo.com.
One project was an individual digital story; mine was entitled “No Words” and can be found at this link: http://tinyurl.com/MaggieFinalVideo. For this project, our class focused heavily on line editing and revising our narratives based on feedback from classmates and our instructor.
Another project was to create a story in small groups about a recipient of the North Country Heritage Award through The Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY). In collaboration with classmate Allie Brazo ’18, we interviewed Iawentas Nanticoke, a member of the Akwesasne Women’s Singers, then we pieced together the audio from our interview to create a story called “Women’s Power Song.” It can be found at this link: http://tinyurl.com/WomensPowerSong
Both projects were presented at separate movie premieres with audience members including friends, professors, and community members.
This unit plan, designed for a 10th grade English classroom, draws from the semester-long coursework completed in Dr. Bertram’s class. I am truly grateful for Dr. Bertram’s excellent instructional strategies, creativity, and support in completing this unit plan; many of these lessons are nearly identical to what I witnessed as a student in her engaging course.
Depending on the instructor’s intentions for teaching this unit, the stories the students create in this 10-day unit can revolve around a variety of themes. For instance, while this unit focuses on students creating personal stories (similar to writing a personal essay), the instructor may choose to have students tell a digital story from the perspective of a book character, or perhaps the instructor will pair up with a Social Studies teacher to have students create a story about a famous person from a certain era or country being studied.