Friday, April 4, 2008

Storytelling Then and Now

My daughters (4th and 6th grades) spent the week doing the MSA--the Maryland state assessment tests. The tests are lengthy. The verbal tests requires students to complete BCRs...brief constructed written responses. From 3rd grade on the format for writing a BCR is drummed into their heads. The BCR written responses must be answered in a certain way and of course students must write within a black box in their test booklets. There is no creativity involved, just answer the question and move on to the next BCR.

With this in mind I stumbled upon a website on storytelling via imovie:

Tom Babaszewski discusses how imovie is an essential tool for teaching kids how to tell stories. He mentioned how he surveyed his 4th and 5th grade students to find out which students considered themselves writers. He posed the question "Are you a writer?" About 60 % of his students said "yes." After a year of using imovie as a storytelling device he asked the same students the question "Are you a writer?" This time 99 % said "yes."

I can see that imovie would help a child who struggles with writing. The computer would allow the child to tell a story through images, music, and words. A child with a handwriting issue may see imovie as a form a freedom of expression. Ban the pencil and click up the mouse!

I am looking forward to the project. I have wanted to learn how to make is my chance. As for inspiration I am pondering rooting in our toybox to find stuffed animals. I have an idea about a gang of bears confronting a gang of monkeys. I wonder who will win. I wonder if the bears would be outsmarted by the monkeys. I think it might be funny to have different sizes of animals. Also, a gang composed of Curious George, a monkey glove puppet, and a gorilla might have some internal strife. I wonder how they would get along with each other? Curious George is sneaky, but not aggressive. George might not be that effective in a fight.

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