From my session at the APABAL Convention in Palma, September 10th…
Because it's important that classrooms are creative spaces, and because digital storytelling is magnificent for that, and for generating language, one of the things I like to take to class are the starting points for collaborative, creative writing projects.
The Norah Jones video above would be one example and I showed this similar example with a Bruce Springsteen clip in my APABAL session.
With the Springsteen clip, I suggest watching with the sound off; with Norah Jones, you might find that your learners make more of the story if they listen to the lyrics at the same time.
What is the story in the Norah Jones clip? It isn't entirely clear, is it? But that's fantastic for class discussion; from the discussion you'll get language; and from the language your learners have got the ideas and the basic outline to tell their version of the story.
Apart from videoclips, photographs or newspaper stories or the first line of a story all make great starting points for digital storytelling projects. My experience has always been that learners come to like them, even those who initially say that they hate writing; the "digital" part — sharing and commenting on the finished stories on a blog or Edmodo group — is part of the appeal.
Just don't call the task a "composition", that's all :-)!
Very young learners
With very young learners, including those too young to write, storytelling — with you telling the story and them participating — works so well.
In my APABAL session I suggested using your interactive whiteboard (IWB) to present a backdrop (a photo of a forest for Red Riding Hood, for example) against which a story can be acted out. It's also easy to include sound effects (birds twittering, wolves howling…) on an IWB page.
Even with very young learners, if you get them to do the artwork to accompany the story, and photograph them dressed up to act it out, then a blog is still worth having, even if you end up uploading most of the content to it yourself [>> and best make it a private blog].
Other videoclips suitable for storytelling?
I have a very conservative taste in music (people tell me!). Can anyone suggest similar song clips that "tell stories" and that could be used in a similar way?