Thursday, May 17, 2018

Six Shot Stories

Every once in awhile you find that tech integration idea that withstands the test of time. Even as the tech tools evolve and change, the learning still holds its value. "Six Shot Stories" is one of those practices for me. As an English teacher, the value of writing Six Word Memoirs created numerous educational benefits with my students. Theme, concise word choice, summarization are all skills emphasized with this simple activity. Pairing the concept with media was brilliant, and Don Goble's One Best Thing book: "Six-Word Story, Six Unique Shots" remains an invaluable resource for delivering the lesson to students.  
Recently I worked with the 4th grade classes at West Holt Elementary to share their school's stories through this technique. And Apple's Clips app on iPad was the perfect medium to create some powerful digital stories in a short timeframe.

I began the lesson by viewing Apple's latest commercial for iPad "Homework" and asking students to count the number of cuts, in order to establish the importance of storytelling through a wide variety of camera angles and shots.

Then students paired up to author a Six-Word Story about their school, their classroom, or their daily activities as 4th graders at West Holt Elementary. It is amazing to see such powerful stories created in just six words by students!

I used Don Goble's book on iBooks to demonstrate different shots that were possible, and reminded students of some simple best practices when capturing with iPad. Instructions were emphasized that each shot should be between 3 and 5 seconds and no technique should be repeated (each shot is unique). Students used a storyboard to plan their six shots and then used the camera app to capture each on their iPad.

Finally, with only literally a few minutes of instruction on the Clips app, students assembled and edited their story. Some added all six words of text at the very end, some used one word per shot, and others split up the text in varying ways. Many were able to experiment with the other creative features of Clips as well, even within the one-class time period we had together. Each team of students exported their product to camera roll, then Airdropped to their teacher's Mac in order to upload on a YouTube channel and organize in a playlist.

What I appreciate most about this project as an ELA teacher, is the tremendous focus on concise, clear communication it entails. As a technology teacher I value the creativity and composition techniques that allow student media production to instantly be raised to the next level.

Enjoy some of West Holt Elementary's Six Shot Stories!

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