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Create and Simulate with Digital Stories: 10 Engaging Topics to Get Your Kids Hooked on Writing

By Guest Blogger: Carrie Sebora

Have you ever wanted to send your students on an adventure to Ancient Rome or to wander the streets of London during the time of Shakespeare? 

Perhaps your students will have a blast when they discover for themselves what would happen if leaders chose another option to start or end a conflict? You might also be challenged by getting your students to realize how they make an impact on the environment? Students learn by doing, and there is no better way for them to show what they understand than with a digital story.

Digital Storytelling is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of everyday people who use digital tools to tell their 'story'. Digital stories often present in compelling and emotionally engaging formats, and can be interactive.

When I was a kid in the 1980s I LOVED the Choose Your Own Adventure books.  It was so much fun making a decision and finding out where the adventure led you and when it finished knowing you could go back and start over with new options!!! Why can't students have this same feeling today, digitally?  

Here are a few topics to get you started on Digital Storytelling and they can be adapted to any level:
  1. Create a virtual tour of a country or historical place 
  2. Create a public service announcement on an important local or world issue. 
  3. Simulate an interview of a historical character. 
  4. Simulate a debate on an historical topic, such as the Bill of Rights. 
  5. Create a presentation based on images of local artifacts and architecture. 
  6. Cell growth and division 
  7. Ways to conserve water 
  8. Habitat and diet of a certain animal species or species family
  9. Skeletal system growth, wear, strengthening, and deterioration
  10. A day without math
Anything that has a process is a good topic for a digital storytelling assignment, as is anything that needs description, such as a certain animal’s habitat to support its diet.

You might be thinking, where do I begin?  All good teaching starts with an idea/activity you want to do with your students to meet an objective/goal/standard/skill. Start where you normally do and build it from there. There are a lot of great templates out in the internet-verse that will help you start a digital storytelling project.  Here are a few that I have created to support my students in writing digital stories. These are great examples for middle school students but can also be used with upper elementary and high school students as well. I have added a few below for your use on Google Slides:

You can still provide your students with information while they are creating their digital story. For example, I created a Water Conservation one for a presentation that I did recently. I added a slide where the learners needed to click on the ways they could help conserve water and it would take them to a fact page about the use of water. Click Here !!

Check out the full presentation about Digital Storytelling.

About the Author:

Carrie Sebora moved to California over 16 years ago to teach middle school history. She is now an EdTech Tosa who supports teachers in integrating technology at her school district. In addition to her role as a Tosa, Carrie is also a board member of MBCUE and a Google Certified Trainer.

You can tweet out to Carrie on twitter: @carriesebora



About Me

About Me
Dr. Patricia Dickenson has taught grades K-9 she currently works with pre-service teacher candidates. She has three school aged children and loves to create curriculum.

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