Digital storytelling projects encourage students to express themselves visually, which is a different skill from writing. They also help develop media literacy, since we are constantly bombarded with visual messages in the form of movies, TV shows, and even commercials.
Scratch is a great digital storytelling tool to use in class because it’s very easy to start using. The puzzle piece-based drag and drop system is simple for even young students to understand intuitively. Although it’s commonly thought of as a tool to teach kids how to code, it’s also a great tool for creating basic animations.So what are some projects you can do in class with your students?
Have them choose a book, TV show, or movie that they like – or really don’t like! – and create a one-scene parody. This encourages them to think critically about what they particularly like or don’t like about the story, and what features they want to highlight and exaggerate for their own version.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Using Scratch’s interactive features, students can create branching stories that can be controlled by the viewer. This is an interesting project to teach kids to think about characters and plot development, in order to come up with different scenarios that make sense within the world that they’ve created. We’re very used to stories progressing from start to finish, but non-linear storytelling is more challenging for an author.
This project also takes advantage of the interactive features within Scratch, and explores interactive storytelling by presenting activities within the story that the user has to complete as they go through the story. There are many eBooks out now like this, and it can be a fun way for students to try their hands at this format.
What are some of your student’s favorite types of projects? What are some ways you encourage them to be more creative storytellers?
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