Wednesday, August 10, 2011

D-LIT: Digital Storytelling Using VoiceThread

In a previous post, we addressed D-LIT (design, literacy, information and technology) in creating stories using Storybird. Another Web 2.0 resource for digital storytelling is VoiceThread. This application can easily be used with young children to publish multimedia stories that they create by combining voice, illustration and text. VoiceThread, like Storybird, brings design, literacy, information and technology (D-LIT) all together, and because it is web-based, they have easy access to hear and read their published books again.

Our first-grade classes put together a work of fiction as a collaborative book. The example you see here, called How Do Dinosaurs Go To the Library, was part of an author study of the How Do Dinosaurs… series by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. The students analyzed how the author divided what happens in each of the books between Dinosaur do's and dont's and observed how the illustrator incorporated the dinosaurs into the world of humans. They listened to the patterns and rhymes in the story to try to mimic what the author did in theirs. Each student added a sentence in a brainstorming activity to take them from the beginning to the end. After this, the students designed illustrations to go with their words in the book.

The final piece was to have them record the words to their pages using VoiceThread. The excitement in publishing a book, hearing their own voices read aloud, and being able to play it over and over allowed them to share their experience with family and friends. They still go back to the website to listen, and the stories have become teaching tools about using the library for others.

The other project that we did with our second graders was an author study of the Pigeon book series by Mo Willems. For this project, the students worked out a storyboard based on the conventions the author used in this popular and humorous series. They especially liked designing the page where the pigeon "loses it" because it does not get what it wants.

The students had full choice over the subject matter for their original stories and happily engaged themselves in learning how to draw pigeons using the author’s website called “Pigeon Presents.” We often put up sample drawings on the interactive white board to convey the pigeon's emotions and body language that they could browse on  their own for ideas.

The original hardbound copies were put on display in the library, and a sampling of their works was recorded using VoiceThread. They were truly empowered by the experience and quite honestly kept drawing pigeons the whole year. For a look at these original creations, please visit the Digital Storytelling page.

1 comment:

  1. Great and simple post you shared. Digital Story Telling has such a mythology about it, but it really is just making a common sense! Thanks for pointing that in your post.


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