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Make Me a Story

  • Title:Make me a Story: Teaching Writing Through Digital Storytelling
  • Author:Lisa Miller
  • Publication Date:2010
  • Grade Level:K-5
  • ISBN:9781571107893
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

When teachers and students first learn about digital stories, they often focus on the bells and whistles: images, music, sound effects, and so on. To Lisa Miller, a good digital story -- like any good story -- is all about the writing. In Make Me a Story, Lisa shows how to use digital stories to lead students through all phases of the writing process, from planning to revising and editing.

Digital storytelling uses computers and software to marry text with art -- photographs, drawings, paintings, and video -- as well as narration and music. Lisa leads teachers step-by-step through the process of creating a digital story in an accessible (even for the computer neophyte), instructional, and entertaining way.

Make Me a Story discusses different types of digital stories; shows how to assess digital assignments and motivate reluctant writers; and explains how digital storytelling teaches skills supported by national education and technology standards. Teachers will find specific suggestions for writing exercises and various ways to get students thinking about how best to tell their stories. The accompanying CD includes examples of student stories discussed in the text.

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Author Bio

Lisa Miller is an associate professor of journalism at the University of New Hampshire and has worked on digital stories with elementary school teachers and students. Lisa received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of New Hampshire and has been a full-time instructor there since 1989. "I had some wonderful teachers in junior high and high school, and my mom was a dedicated and creative teacher of music," Lisa says. "I saw how they made a difference in students' lives and I wanted to do the same." Lisa also wanted to be a writer. "An internship at a daily newspaper convinced me that I could make a difference in the world with my reporting and writing." After teaching freshman English while she earned her master's degree, Lisa was hooked. "I had gotten to talk to an audience about two things I loved, writing and reading, and to help students through the process of creating good writing. These students had trusted me and shared their work with me. I had gotten to know all of these smart, funny people. What could be better?" Lisa says that she loves the energy of a roomful of students writing or talking about ideas. "I love a student's excitement when she suddenly understands something she's been wrestling with. I love the fact that I can keep trying new ways of teaching, keep bringing new material into the classroom, and keep getting better at teaching. And I'm a bit of a ham, so I enjoy the performance."

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