Digital Storytelling is sometimes described as the practice of using computer animation tools to tell stories. Just as we do with traditional writing activities, digital stories can focus on a specific topic, point of view and/or purpose, Digital stories are engaging to students because they mix cartoon-like pictures, with the added attributes of music, sound and text. Kids love them because their stories literally come to life. You can call them digital stories, mini movies, or animated tales-they all allow children to create and think.
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For primary students allowing them to mess about with animation software teaches characters, setting, and plot in a visual way. Children can easily identify the character if they have drawn, created, or picked it out of the available clip art choices. Drawing or choosing the background scene illustrates the stories setting. Animating their characters allows students to create the “actions” for the plot of their story. After exploring animation students seem to be able to fill out a story mountains, story maps, and other graphic organizers with a bit more detail.
I like to follow up the animated story by having the students write about the animation they created. Linking digital stories to more traditional writing activities allow student to see the connections between the written word and the digital world of virtual reality.
For older students (in perhaps year four) a more traditional planning approach may be in order to Create a Digital Story
on the topic-researching, note taking
,-outlining, and storyboarding ,author purpose, point of view
: Write a script
your animation Site or Software
: modifying images and organization
timing, images, and narration
the final product
Digital stories can vary in length, but my student last between 10 seconds for a clay animation- up to around 10 minutes. And the topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from recounting of historical events in clay, describing life cycles, understanding our community to creating a simple adventure a n animal might have. Most stories that primary children write are well suited to the digital domain of animation. There are so many wonderful sites to use for Digital Storytelling I am sure you will find one that suits your needs. The following site does a wonderful job of explaining the educational benefits of digital story telling http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/index.html
Here is a list of my favorites sites and the tools I use with my primary students:
Cell based animation- make the elephant dance. My 4and 5 year olds love this, and giggle and giggle.
Can be used online or downloaded This is a real favorite with my 7 year olds. They are especially taken with the space background and objects. It doesn’t offer sound-but that doesn’t seem to matter as my kids seem to make the sound effects for their story.
- Creative fun for kids, bring your sketch pets to life www.shidonni.com/ Children draw an animal in a simple paint program on line and the animal comes to life. They draw the background (setting), and even create food the pet eats. My 6 year olds got help from my older students to “write” the story that went with their movie. For weeks after using this one whenever we used an image they volunteered the setting and character they saw!
Moovl is a unique online tool which teachers and pupils can use to draw, animate and apply physical properties to objects in order to bring their pictures and words to life. I love this one because it ads science into the story writing process:
Me and My Movie
- Super simple animation movie maker- Just drag and drop clips for a fast mashup.
Wild Life Film maker
- Make a custom nature film with animal clips. Another great Mash-up
- Make your digital film for free! Choose a background scene, characters, animated actions,
dialog, introduction, and ending credits. Put your name as the producer and email the movie to your friends! You can also signup for free. I suggest using those temporary email accounts for your class.
Create a short movie on line
Junior Movie Maker-
make a movie with animated stickers
-super simple story writer.
- Animation make a movie
-has two programs Minivid is dead simple animation. It's never been easier to put your thoughts into motion Currently in very private beta, the Animator is a complete online animation studio, with powerful features and the freedom to let you flex your expressive muscles.
Dvolver Movie Maker
-Dvolver’s Movie Maker helps you make a movie in a few simple steps. When completed you can send it to a friend., post it to your website, or use Cam studio do a screen capture.
- spaceshifter create animation right on Line This is a bit more complete but well suited to the primary student IMHO.
and of course Photostory3
Clickable Links to these programs you can click HERE