Using Photostories to Assess Student Knowledge

We want to encourage our scholars to become creators of content. It is no longer acceptable for them to just consume information. We have to provide them with tools, training and resources that require them to create multimedia artifacts that meshes together voice, images, music, and text.

PhotoStories to Assess.png

Valerie R. Burton, M. Ed.

@MsBisOnline

#TchrScolrs #UnleashingLiteracy

Table of contents

  1. Lesson Rationale
  2. Lesson Procedures
  3. Lesson Resources
  4. Lesson Standards
  5. Classroom uses
  6. Student Handouts

Lesson Rationale

Break away from the testing madness

Have your scholars create a photostory video instead. Photostories require students to curate images that depict important elements of the text read in class. Creating a digital story provides a wonderful opportunity to meet a variety of content area standards and opportunities for collaboration, creativity and innovation, research, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

Don’t have them read, write and bubble, have them create the journey of a leaf eaten by an earthworm.  They can find images that make the facts come alive from beginning to end as if they were one of the digestive parts along the way.  

Or they can be

The personas or writing roles that they can play are up to you. You can either leave the focus of the video up to them, nudge them in a general direction or assign a topic for the class. Photostories allow students to assume the persona of any significant person (fictional or non-fictional), place, scientific notation, mathematical expression, or idea that relates to your current unit of study.

Lesson Procedure

Basic lesson plan for photostory creation:

Creating a Teacher Account

Lesson Resources:

Text and Handouts

Images and music that reflects character interactions, mood, theme, activities, etc

Computer and Animoto website or student phones or apps

Classroom uses:

What this would look like in the classroom. You would be critiquing videos in which your scholars decided to:

• Create the storytelling journey of a drop of water as it flows through pipes throughout the world. Make the facts come alive from beginning to end as if you were traveling to strange and faraway places.

• Be a picture uploaded to the internet, unfolding the twists, turns, and pathways an image can travel on the worldwide web.

• Be a percentage, sharing your journey of being miscalculated and needing to clearly show that it makes a difference in the world. 

Be a squirrel, eagle, bear, whale, or toucan convincing others to take care of the environment through a personal story of what happens when you do not.

• Be a literary, scientific, or historical character sharing a defining moment when a choice you made touched the world forever.

Change up your normal routine and let your students become video producers. You’ll enjoy it and so will they.


Lesson Standards:

SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a visual or written text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a visual or written text.
R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a visual or written text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word or image choices shape meaning or tone.
R.5 Analyze the structure of visual or written texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a visual or written text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a visual or written text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
R.9 Analyze how two or more visual or written texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


Student Handouts


You are now a video producer. Your mission is to:

Identify the purpose of your video.

Why are you creating your video?  Is it to teach others about a person, place or thing?  Is it to share a journal entry, book trailer or poem? Identifying your purpose guides you in the selection of your style, pictures and music.

Identify your audience.

Will you create your video to share with a parent, a teacher, the principal, a friend, or a young child? Who you choose to be your audience will impact how you write your story, the vocabulary and the formality of your video.

Choose meaningful pictures.

You need to think about what images will make your point and drive it home.

General Tips and Suggestions for video production.

Choosing the images and music that you want will probably take the most time.

If you’re not sure what you’d like to say about the text, consider using quotes from the text.

Use more images than words. Be careful to limit the number of text slides in a video.  Videos  look better when the story is told mainly through images. Plan out your image and text selection on the storyboard below.

Sometimes one word can describe a scene better than a whole sentence. Animoto allows you to have topics and subtopics on your slides. Break up your text. Less is best.

Your videos should run from two to three minutes in length.  Too little and it doesn’t capture the text.  Too much and you lose your audience.

Creating an Animoto video

Sign up for your Animoto account

Click on the Create button

Select a theme

Choose create video

Choose “Upload” to select videos from your computer

Hold down the “ctrl” key to select multiple images.

Drag and drop media to arrange content.

Use the Add Text button to create text slides.  

After images are uploaded select “music” from the tabs at the left.

Choose music from the Collection at Animoto.com or upload music from music you may have stored on your computer.

Choose the speed of your video and cover screen.

Enter a title, description and click “create video”.

It will take several minutes to create your video.

After your video is created click on the “video toolbox” Here you several options to share your video

Produce your video when complete.

Planning is Key - quick text analysis

Words:  Write one sentence that tells about the text and will make someone want to read it.  Hints and Tips:

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Text Highlights:  What aspect of the text will you focus on? Contrasting views? Developing characters?  Exciting scenes?  Slow moving suspense? Hints and Tips:

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Images List the important visual elements that will be included, like who (characters) and what (setting/accessories).  This will help you create the Storyboard.

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Storyboard Template

A storyboard allows you to visually plan your photo story. Planning out what you want to say is extremely important. 9 frames equal approximately 90 seconds.  

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Creating an Animoto video

Sign up. Register for your free Animoto account. Click "Sign Up" to begin.

  • Students: Get your Animoto account by clicking here
  • Click on the Create button

Select a theme - The style affects the look and feel of your video. Click on any of the styles to see a preview.

Select_Style.png

Choose “Upload” to select pictures and videos from your computer or select images from Animoto’s gallery.

  • Drag and drop media to arrange content.
  • Use the Add Text button to create text slides.  
  • After images are uploaded select “music” from the gallery at Animoto.com or upload music from your computer.

Upload_pictures.png

Preview and Edit. Preview and edit video elements as needed. The settings button allows you change the name and description of the video. When you're all done, click the Preview button to see how your video looks and continue editing your video if necessary.Choose the speed of your video and cover screen.

Edit_to_your_liking.png

Enter a title, description and click “create video”.

It will take several minutes to create your video.

After your video is created click on the “video toolbox” Here you several options to share your video

Click produce to finish up your video. Animoto will email you when your video is ready.

Sharing your video, is as simple as clicking a button to share via Facebook, Twitter, or email.Share_once_movie_is_completed.png