During Summer Learning Camp here at Alsup IB World School I have been pushed to work outside my comfort zone, teaching Kindergarten through fifth graders. I am used to teaching third and fourth graders. When I was designing my lessons for the three weeks of filmmaking workshop I struggled with what I should do in order to make films with the youngest students. I knew the second-fifth graders who had more advanced reading and writing skills would be more prepared to tell their stories digitally. But how could I make digital storytelling engaging for the youngest students? Would they enjoy the process or be bored? How much could they do on their own, and what would I have to help them with?
The Kindergarten/first grade group has made two films so far and has started a third. Each film has been posted to youtube.com. Their second film was about animals. For each part of the digital storytelling process I have guided the group in an interactive way using the Smartboard. Each student selected pictures that we downloaded from Microsoft Office Clipart online. After importing the photos into Photo Story 3 for Windows the students each edited their two photos, typed the names of the animals on them, and recorded their voice on their photos. We selected music as a group, built our story and then watched it on "the big screen." I have been happy with how this group has been able to focus on the digital storytelling process when guided through each part, one step at a time. Another thing that has helped is only working on our film for a short ammount of time each day before doing other activities. The students have a lot of fun making films together and then watching them! Any ideas how to improve this process of digital storytelling with younger students?