Fostering storytelling identities in my students will begin in my seventh-grade classroom with a lesson very similar to our narrative assignment that needed to have voiceovers. I feel that about a third of my students or so come to my class with some background in iMovie, but do not have much exposure to narration and the use of visual metaphors. I feel that can I use the product that I made and host it on my own website that I curate. Then link it in my Google Classroom for each period, so they are not hunting for it. We can then evaluate it together and go over the “thyme’ visual with the burning effect on top of it and how that furthers the mood and emotion of the spoken narration. I feel that this will be an important component of the direct instruction part because they can see and observe exactly what we are trying to re-create, and it will provide a nice segue for me to talk about the Pareto principle. In addition, it will provide an opportunity to relate to them, as they know procrastination intimately as well. Finally, I will share with them a strategy on how to work through it, and what I did specifically. I think the last piece is arguably the most important aspect of the assignment potentially, because often coping strategies are not explicitly taught in school.
As teachers, we often do not consider what else is going on in their lives. Occasionally, especially in the gifted and highly gifted programs we let the students sink or swim through time management piece and don’t directly teach the skill. I believe this problem and lack of explicit instruction contributes to college drop outs. Students’ strategies are limited to, “I will just work harder.’ The trouble is without proper management strategies, one can run out of time in the day and the work harder adage does not cut it. So, you have students that in middle school and high school that pulled off 4.0 getting Ds or worse! If these students don’t figure it out in time, they get forced out. This topic I am bringing up, seems more important than ever in light of the college admission scandal in our society today.
Circling back from the tangent and focusing on the structuring of the lesson. Since my students are much younger, I plan to provide some scaffolding to lead them to tell metaphors in their narrative. Earlier in the digital story telling course, I referenced an NPR radio clip I listened to where they talked about constraints on composing music and how it makes it much easier to compose songs. I believe that this concept is directly applicable to telling a digital story as well. To scaffold for my students, I believe I could create an assignment with two major prongs or options within the assignment. This is always a consideration to include multiple options for me, because I have every sort of student in the same classroom. I get a mix of students ranging from life skills to students from the highly gifted program.
One option would offer more structure and constraint to help them get started and avoid students shutting down. It will have a series of photos, that I can have a basic story structure in my back pocket to reveal piece mill as necessary.
In the second option, they may choose, there will much less structure. I will introduce this option as the opportunity to share a narrative from your life experience. Students will understand that this one will require more effort and more time management to finish on time. I believe that providing opportunities to practice time management at the middle school level is imperative.