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Here students use Photo Story 3 to illustrate a personally significant poem with their own photos


Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Poetry Through Digital Storytelling
By – T. Koons
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Computers / Internet, Social Studies, Science
Grade Level – 9-12

Concept / Topic To Teach:

    Student will use Photo Story 3 or Microsoft Movie Maker to create a presentation in which they use the poetry of a credible author to effectively illustrate their life or some part of their lives.

Possible Connections to Other Subjects:

  • This project could reasonably be applied to technology applications courses. It could also be applied to other content area subjects such as social studies and science.
  • Students in social studies classes could select an historical figure and match a poem that they feel might represent that figure’s life based on their historical research.
  • In science classes, students could also select poetry to explore, based on the current unit (i.e., wetlands, rainforest, etc.).

Standards Addressed:

  • Compare text events with his/her own and other readers’ experiences.
  • Draw upon his/her own background to provide connection to texts.
  • Respond to informational and aesthetic elements in texts such as discussions, journal entries, oral interpretations, enactments, and graphic displays.
  • Connect literature to historical contexts, current events and his/her own experiences.

General Goal(s):

    Create a five-minute digital story that visually interprets a poem that the student feels reflects the important elements of his/her life.

Specific Objectives:

  • Develop the storyline for the project.
  • Create a storyboard and script to organize all scenes; identify special effects and transitions; and set the length for each clip, so that the maximum five minutes total limit is met. (Instructors may vary this time depending on file size limitations.)
  • Use digital video camera equipment to capture images and scanners to scan images to be used in the project.
  • Use digital video software (i.e., Photo Story 3 or Movie Maker) to capture and edit clips; insert transitions, special effects, and audio tracks; add titles and credits.
  • Save their final project in an appropriate file format for viewing and to handle file size.

Required Materials:

  • Computer
  • Scanner
  • Software (Photo Story 3 or Microsoft Movie Maker)
  • Digital camera
  • Access to Internet

Anticipatory Set:

    If you had to describe your life in one word, what word would you use? Have students use this word to begin the brainstorming process for the digital storyboard.

Step-By-Step Procedures:

  1. Brainstorm a list of ideas. Students began this process during the anticipatory set. They will be required to assimilate still photos, and to select a poem based on their interest.
  2. They must select a poem that reflects their life somehow. They may use music lyrics instead of an actual poem as long as they are school appropriate and fall within school guidelines.
  3. After selecting the poem, students will create an outline for their digital story.  The story should contain at least two different transitions. It must also include at least five personal photographs. Students will need to bring these from home to scan. The digital story will end with a blank color screen and text for the credits.
  4. Create a detailed storyboard for the project. Be sure to describe each image narration and time. Remind students to plan appropriately, as it will make for a more effective product.
  5. Approve student storyboards.
  6. At the end of each day of the project, students will need to have their worked viewed to make sure that they are on the right track.
  7. Students will add transitions , special effects, titles, and credits as needed. Remind them that the final project can be no longer than five minutes. (The instructor may set different times depending on file size limitations.)
  8. Students will follow copyright law and correctly document any copyrighted material.
  9. Demonstrate to students how to save their product.
  10. When students are finished with the digital story, they will need to render the entire story. They will be required to turn in the final “.wmv” file to the complete folder.

Plan For Independent Practice:

    Students can independently apply this practice of digital storytelling to their own poetry.


    Ask students to reflect upon the word that they originally selected to represent their life. Would they change the word after completing the project? If so, why?

Assessment Based On These Objectives:

  • Completed brainstorming activity
  • Completed script and storyboard including narration and timing instructions
  • Content is related to poem and is creative and compelling, and demonstrates the students ability to compare text events with his/her own life, including the ability to draw upon his/her own background to make those connections
  • Correctly documented all copyrighted material
  • Create a storyboard using Photo Story or Movie Maker that is no more than five minutes long, has at least five different photographs and two transitions and is saved in “.wmv” format

Adaptations for Learning Disabilities:

  • Create a poster collage that describes the one word summary of their life.
  • Create a booklet using original art that describes the one word summary of their life.
  • Select a children’s story and explain how it is like their life.


    Find an older poem and a modern poem which reflect the same elements in the student’s life, then compare/contrast the two poems with regard to whether the poems reflect any changes in society from the past to a more modern era of poetry

E-Mail T. Koons !

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