Digital storytelling is incredibly hard for fifth graders to do well, as it involves so many decisions. Topics, research and content, organization, voice, presentation, and editing all involve choices that can quickly become overwhelming. That's why I waited until the end of the school year to ask students to create a TED Talk, applying skills such as research, organization, and the use of digital tools.
Students were invited to choose any topic that was appropriate for school that they cared about. The message needed to have at least one goal: to make others understand, to make others care, or to inspire others to change (take action). Our topics included the appeal of graphic novels, the importance of art in our lives, how people treat each other, and why bees should matter to humans. See some examples below!
We don't have great audio tools to easily record students, so even though we watched some TED talks to get the feel of the experience, we weren't able to stand up and speak and get a good quality recording. Instead, students introduced their short films in class and let those pieces do the speaking, and then we took questions and comments afterward.
Our revision process included "consultation time" with class experts who offered feedback about messaging, presentation (visuals or sound), and editing. Although the final products contain some errors and places that could be refined, student ownership is strong in these works, and each one has improved from its original version. We are still considering how we might be able to present our pieces to a live audience, but for now, we're excited to share ideas online. We hope you enjoy the work!
The Importance of Art
You Should Probably Have a Chicken
Adopt a Dog
Why Bees Matter to Humans
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