I first wrote a short story, a sort of fairy-tale with my son in the main role. I shared it with him and he liked it. Then I got him and my husband to act it out with me. We had a lot of fun and here is the result:
Obviously, the same thing could be done in class. The students could collaborate and write a story, then they could take photos of each other acting the story out. Finally, they could create the Mixbook. One word of warning: Mixbooking is highly addictive. Your students could spend hours changing fonts and backgrounds and experimenting with different stickers. The result is beautiful, though I have to say that Mixbooks look much nicer on the site than when they are embedded. The Mixbook site gives you the option of flipping through pages at your own speed, and the book resembles a real book. If you can find a few extra minutes, you can look at my book here.
Then I decided to use the same pictures and tell a different story altogether. There is a group in Flickr where members tell a story in five frames and I wanted to try something similar. I called the story His Favourite Toy:
I have a pretty clear idea about what I wanted to say, but do you? You see, the fun in the "Tell a story in 5 frames" starts after a member has posted the story. This is what they say:
"Tell a Story in 5 Frames has two important parts. The first part is creating and telling a story through visual means with only a title to help guide the interpretation. The second part is the response of the group to the visual story. The group response can take many forms such as, a poetic or prose rendering of the visualization, a critique on the structure of the story, comments on the photograph, or other constructive forms of response. Telling and enjoying stories should create entertainment for the group as well as offer insight into the universal elements that help create a story for an international audience. The more people who respond , as either story tellers or respondents, the greater the reward for all. "
And, again, what a great tool in the classroom. The pictures would have to be prepared in advance, either by the teacher or by the students. Then the students could create their stories in groups or on their own. This activity can also be used to practise grammar and vocabulary. The format of the writing could be predetermined (Write a letter of complaint, an email to a friend...). If the students like the activity, it could be done over and over, each time with a different set of pictures.
And now... I have an idea...
You see, I'll be absent for a week. Going somewhere really nice, will tell you all about it soon. In the meantime, why don't you make yourselves at home in my blog? Try and respond to my story. Pretend that you don't know who the people in the pictures are. Or you can write a poem. Anything you like.
When I come back, I'll try to gather your comments in another post.
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