Make Cycle 1: Storytelling

Digital Learning Day Make Cycle: Some Stories

Jan 29-Feb 9 (But feel free to jump in any time before or after these dates: the dates just give us the possibility for connecting across locations with some shared making!)

For this make cycle, we will spend time thinking about and trying out storytelling or narrative. This writing type is most often experienced in childhood through beautiful picture books, fairy tales passed down over generations, the stuff of movies and tales told round the campfire. And actually, it’s even more than that! We tell stories when we describe our day to our loved ones, when we pick that perfect photo for the holiday card, and when we introduce ourselves for the first time to new colleagues.

The pervasiveness of narrative in our lives is also reflected in the Common Core standards for English Language Arts. You’ll notice that writing narrative texts crosses all grade levels, moving from simple texts to more complex ones. Narratives can be real or imaginary and can be composed in a huge variety of structures...some that are still being invented! The standards remind us consider a logical sequence of events, to use narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and description, transitions to indicate shifts in time or setting, precise language and sensory language and more to bring these stories to life.

So let’s write some stories during this make cycle! There are so many options to consider. You might consider a wordless story or a graphic novel. Maybe you’ll tell a story using data and graphs or perhaps one told solely in photos. Six word stories force you to limit your words, while Twitter-length stories seem almost extravagant in comparison. A diversity of stories and of storytelling modes enriches our understandings of the world we live in and offer multiple perspectives to consider.

For this make cycle, try one of more of the following options:

  1. Write your own memoir using only 6 words. Check out some examples on the Six Words website.
  2. Create a wordless book using your own drawings, found images, photographs. You might be inspired by Sidewalk Stories, a wordless picture book.
  3. Introduce yourself through data about your life and interests. Include charts and graphs of your choice. Check out Brandon’s introduction. You could use Google Slides, Prezi, Piktochart or
  4. Can you tell a story with a photo or other image? Or maybe tell a story a day as a month-long challenge?
  5. Write a Twitter length story, use 25 words, 140 characters or the new expanded lengths of 240 characters. Check out Kevin Hodgson’s collection of 25 word stories for inspiration.
  6. Be inspired by beautiful art to create your own picture book by using Storybird or the Storyjumper site
  7. Come up with your own story creating invitation and challenge the rest of us to try it too!

Remember to share your creations on Twitter using the hashtags #DLDay and #CWPDLD and/or in our G+ Community!