Today we stay within the realm of comic books and storytelling and combine drawing and storyboards with digital photography and movie-making tools.
While all this may sound complicated, educators Patricia Holloway and
Carol Mahan from the Missouri Department of Conservation make digital storytelling less intimidating in their article, Enhance Nature Exploration with Technology, in which they provide clear instruction and many excellent resources for teachers.
Sketchbooks, nature journals and good old-fashioned paper-and-pencil thinking is featured often in this space. I like paper-and-pencil thinking and do exactly this when I write this weekly column. A recent teaching experience with a group of energetic teenagers, however, encouraged me to think that paper and pencil aren’t necessarily the best tools to use with all audiences. If you’ve wanted to incorporate digital storytelling into your lesson plans, but haven’t taken on the task because the learning curve appears too steep, I would like to direct you to Holloway and Mahan’s informative paper. I bet you’ll find just the right kind of guidance, insight and structure that will help you take that first step.
Here is what you’ll be able to do after reading Holloway and Mahan (2012):
- Connect students with nature and prepare them to become storytellers.
- Lead a successful nature walk.
- Create a sample storyboard so you can model the process for your students.
- Guide students successfully through the digital-storytelling process.
- Provide photography tips to students.
- Walk students through the digital editing process (Holloway and Mahan provide step-by-step instructions for teachers).
- Evaluate the storyboards students create (Holloway and Mahan provide a rubric for your consideration).
- Learn how to present student projects to parents and the public.
You will also be able to explore the list of Web-based resources Holloway and Mahan provide for teachers.
Are you ready to take the leap?
Get a copy of Enhance Nature Exploration with Technology at the online store of the National Science Teachers Association. Right now it’s FREE!
Holloway, Patricia and Carol Mahan. 2012. Enhance nature exploration with technology. Science Scope. 35(9): 23-28.
Don’t Miss This
The activity described by Holloway and Mahan (2012) requires students to use images and audio sounds when creating storyboards. As you research this process for your own classroom or program, keep these resources in mind: