Last week I found a great website via Twitter that lists 150 Book Report Alternatives and today we started one in my class using Photo Story. Since we don't have recording capabilities in our lab, we are only using pictures, words and music to tell our "story". Today was Day One and it was a fantastic class! The students came in with a graphic organizer of their story already completed. We reviewed my example Photo Story to discuss the mistakes I had made and suggestions for how to fix them. We also reviewed how to spread a sentence out over more than one picture as I don't want this to be text heavy. After a final quick review of some PhotoStory particulars, the students were off.
It was a pleasure to watch the student engagement for the rest of class! They had a choice of finding and saving clip art pictures or using Morguefile.com (a safe, copyright-free image website). Even though they had all read the same story, they are picking such vastly different pictures that each digital story will be unique. They were collaborating with each other as they evaluated whether a picture would "work" and they gave each other suggestions for finding pictures. Next week we will finish finding pictures and start adding words. I am eager to see the continued critical thinking that will happen as they try to limit their words, yet get their point across.