"Your Pictures Tell a Story"

Abstract: Way back before language was invented, people told stories with pictures. We learn to process images and sounds before we are able to read. Telling a story with pictures is a way for your students to express their ideas creatively and share what they know. Using tools like Photostory make the process of creating these stories a real no-brainer. Plus, if you want to share your stories or collaborate with others a new online tool called Voicethread lets your stories take on a life of their own.

Intro to Digital Storytelling

People have been using pictures to tell stories since before recorded history.

Pictures convey a powerful message (Ken Burn's "The War"). It's more than just facts & figures pictures and voice can convey emotions as well.

Kids have been raised on TV, video games, and computers are wired to think visually - in pictures.

Teachers use visuals as writing prompts. (Discovery Streaming Writing Prompt Builder)

Students use tools like Power Point, and PhotoStory3 to tell stories.

Power Point

  • Important Book(pdf file) - Even 2nd Graders can use Power Point. Based on "The Important Book" by Margaret Wise Brown and a project idea from teacher Jeff Lee. (I modified it to also use VoiceThread)
  • Photo Album - Bet you didn't know Power Point could do this!

Microsoft PhotoStory - A free download for Windows users.

PhotoStory3 Tutorials by David Jakes - Great printable tutorials and screen capture tutorial videos. These cover everything we talked about in the session and few things we didn't.

Sample Student Projects and Lesson Ideas

PhotoStory for Mac Users

How to view videos made with PhotoStory3 on a Mac:
  1. On your Windows computer, use Windows Media Encoder to convert it to a "different" type of wmv.
  2. On your Mac, install the Flip For Mac plug-in for Quicktime.
For more specifics see this blog: http://dgrice.blogspot.com/2007/11/not-so-simple-solution.html

iMovie 08 - Use it to make "PhotoStory-like" projects. Here's how: http://dgrice.blogspot.com/2008/02/imovie-08-photostory-for-mac.html

iMovie 06 - Learn how to make a Digital Riddle with the previous version of iMovie using these tutorials from Jennifer Gingerich.
Speaking of converting things...
Does your school block YouTube? Here's a link that explains how to convert YouTube videos into something that can be dowloaded and viewed offline: "Free to YouTube"


Add an element of collaboration to your digital stories using VoiceThread. Your students could work together on a story for your class or your class could collaborate with students across the country or around the world.

How does it work? Here are a couple of blog posts that explain it...
VoiceThread Tutorials (made with Voicethread of course!)


Notice that VoiceThreads can be embedded in your blog or wiki. (How cool is that?)

More Examples:

Sample Lesson: