Carolina Gallegos – Drama teacher
Clara González – Year 6 English Language teacher assistant
Karen Roberts – Year 6 English Language teacher
Phase 2: Mystery Stories – Publishing our own book
Gather round a fire or maybe just tune in and hold on tight to your car wheel because the ancient art of storytelling is coming back in an innovative format called digital storytelling. Stories are important to us because through them we question and communicate relevant values and social behaviour. Through them we question who we are and we look for hints to understand our emotions. Stories are as old as human beings. Actually, storytelling predates the written word as people have been telling stories for as long as we have had speech! Back in the day stories passed from lips to ears, changing as each teller forgot things and replaced them with their own inventions. Traditionally, stories were not memorized
word by word but learnt image by image and then told from the heart in gatherings. Therefore, each telling was different as the narrator chose words to suit the audience. Times have changed, right?
The process of crafting the retelling of a story requires using speech as actors, exploring diction and the effect of rhythm in conveying meaning. In Drama we have rehearsed the words from the stories the students have written, dancing such words, shaping them with our mouths and full bodies, finding unsuspected new meanings. Arriving to the images that storytellers treasure so deeply.
We wanted to give something back to our library. We wanted to show the world that libraries are still relevant and important in today but that we had to transform the way this literature was presented. Our students already use many tools to create digital media so it was no surprise that they were so enthusiastic about recording their oral versions of their stories. Digital access to the world community is reshaping our space in the world
as producers of content so our biggest challenge as digital storytellers was the necessity of being aware of the audience. We shed light on the reach of an augmented reality book for the school library so students tried to cater to their audience, a real audience of library users in their own library period who would have a chance to listen to the story in the library. Students were very motivated by
this since they realized that it would be the first book with augmented reality in the library and to top it off, they would write it!
After this, we also explored the visual content we were creating as students produced the illustrations for the stories. In Drama students made still images
about powerful moments in their stories under a severe time constraints so they would not over think them and follow their first impressions. Afterwards we all “read” those images: we analyzed and deconstructed how they were instinctively creating meaning and effects. After creating, physicalyzing and reading the images we introduced examples of illustrations from Film Noir genre, they identified key procedures and techniques, lighting, color, and composition. Students gave each other feedback on their production under this light and they reworked their own physical images. Afterwards we asked them to draw the images they had physicalized, what they had produced with their bodies on the empty
space of the classroom as opposed to the white canvas, which may intimidate many unskillful drawers. Students have explored the characteristics of integrated texts (words and illustrations) through creating pictures that not only echo the words of the narrative but also highlight the tension by the use of black, white and red thus adding layers of meaning to their narratives.
Making and telling stories about something that matters to someone has a wonderful effect on us, regardless of where we are. Books have always brought us the chance to enjoy the same story over and over. In addition, with augmented reality books we can have a touching experience looking at and listening to a story on our mobile devices and even as we sit in a corner when we can secretly, like children, listen to the same story more than once.
Our book is in the library, you can enjoy them long after the fires die down!