Telling stories is one of the effective teaching strategies, one that has been around for a long time. But, why not use it as learning strategy as well?
What is digital storytelling?
Educational Use of Digital Storytelling explains it well:
As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips, and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between 2 and 10 minutes. The topics used in digital storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.
For more: About digital storytelling
In our language classes, encouraging our students to create stories can be motivate them to produce and participate in class. To avoid overwhelming our students, we can encourage them to use their imagination and write fictional stories about random Ali’s and Fatima’s or other relevant topics. For example, female students can write a story about a day in a male student’s life and vice versa (these will be interesting! 😀 ). They can also write stories about topics like bullying, peer pressure, and so on. It could be difficult at first, but if you provide them with enough background knowledge about it, or if you allow them to work in groups/pairs, they can eventually do it.
Of course, you can tailor these stories to your learning objectives by the kind of structures or words you require them to use. For example, you can ask them to use future tense, x number of words from their weekly vocabulary list, and a certain number of connectors. And so on…
With all the accessible technologies and user-friendly tools that we have now, creating stories couldn’t be made any easier. My favorite way is to use Adobe Spark Videos, but there are many tools that can help.
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