One of the first digital storytelling projects is a to use 4-7 images to tell a story. I allowed students to either use images without words or with some text, like a comic strip. The exercise is to be relatively simple, but to work on using images more than text to convey the story. How do you show emotion, the obstacle and the resolution, or tension in images? How can you create a connection to the characters? How do you do this without words? The goal is to get a complete story down to the basic or only the necessary details.
As I explained before, here is an example I had fun with.
I like donuts. I love Krispy Kreme donuts! I have the calendar that gives coupons every month. What a good story to tell! And here is my story:
“Saving a Morning”
This is a simpler story than my previous example. I don’t think any words are needed. Can you relate to it? Most probably can – some mornings we feel dull, uninspired, or tired and a simple thing can make our day. Besides, what is better than a warm Krispy Kreme donut hot off the baking rack?!
Overall, this story was simple to put together. First, I had to think up the story. I got hungry one morning and thought it was a good idea. Second, I had to get the “talent” involved, so I called my daughter. We often go get donuts together anyway, so it did not take too much convincing (especially since I was buying). Third, I had to plan the steps that conveyed the story – giving enough info to make a complete story and eliminating unnecessary information.
I got a few shots of each step and chose the one that looked the best and got the idea of that phase of the story across. I put it together by inserting images in MSWord. I used a table and put one image in each cell except for the last image. I wanted the last image to be emphasized a little more, so I combined two cells. This also solved the problem of an uneven number of images forced into a table with equal rows and columns. A little formatting to get the images centered in their cell helped the overall look. However, using a table is not required.
So, another example of digital storytelling. I look forward to your reaction. And feel free to share your stories!
After discussing this example with my class, I wanted to share some of their ideas about how improve my donut story. They brought out ideas to show more conflict or obstacles such as showing an empty fridge or an empty wallet. The ideas were to make the story more interesting and engaging – they had good ideas, and I look forward to seeing their stories.
We talked about the logistics of planning and photographing a story, an how my hurry limited the quality of the story.