inquiring minds

international teaching

Course 1 Final Project

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My favorite unit to teach so far this year is our story unit.

I love stories and so do most second graders so this unit is a match made in heaven.

The unit was coming up around the same time as Jason Ohler‘s one day Digital Storytelling workshop at ASIJ.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance to see if his ideas could compliment or enrich our already well established unit of inquiry.

After the short one day workshop, not only did I feel we needed to shift the main focus of our unit, but I rediscovered my own passion for storytelling.

Ohler emphasizes the equal  importance of oral storytelling, written storytelling, and art in his process, where as our unit was only emphasizing the written aspect of storytelling. Stories have been passed down orally since before written communication existed. And the ability to tell stories to persuade, sell, or get your point across, makes it an increasingly vital skill for our current times.

My favorite example of Ohler’s Digital Storytelling is Hannah’s story, because I think it’s powerful the way Hannah tells the story orally with her hand drawn illustrations supporting her in the background. It’s something my second graders can do.

Ohler’s whole philosophy, approach and resources are on his site and are available for anyone to use.

PYP Unit Planner – Grade 2 – How We Express Ourselves


One thought on “Course 1 Final Project

  1. Great unit on Storytelling, Allie — our 2nd graders also do that unit for “How We Express Ourselves.” After attending Jason’s workshop in November, I had my students dive into digital storytelling right before Christmas. While some aspects of technology were messy, they eventually figured it out and can now create digital stories independently. Like Jason mentioned, the writing and creating process is more important than which digital tools you choose. I especially like some of the planners he showed us and the idea of a “peer pitch” before students start writing stories.

    And one quick note about tools…we use imovie, and for younger students, the ipad version is actually much easier than the desktop (we’ve tried both). Good luck with the unit and please let us know how it goes.

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