Ask students to bring in one photo, a physical or digital copy. Hopefully this photo relates to the assignment.
Each student desk will become a station where they will display their photo.
Place a sheet of paper next to the photo.
Ask students to write one thought/comment on each photo. This can be abstract, poetry, or matter of fact. Any thought that comes to mind when viewing the image.
After the students have completed this, they go back to their original stations and write a story about the image they brought in and must use at least one comment from the comment sheet.
When finished, each storyteller will read his/her story and then allow the listeners to ask questions or give feedback regarding the story.
The Goal of the Image Exercise:
- Help the storyteller further reflect on his/her ideas and to deepen the reflection process for the storyteller. This is an opportunity for the storyteller to receive feedback and direction if they want it.
- This serves as a great tool to help the listeners learn to critique each others sensitive work.
- Camaraderie is established as a result of hearing each others stories and going through the process as a group rather than an isolated assignment.
- Finding your writing voice. Often our writing voices will change when asked to write a story based off of an image vs. writing the story and then gathering images afterwards. I’ve noticed students write more freely and creatively. This is something you want when creating a digital story because it is such a personalized storytelling project. We are asking students to dig deeper into themselves.
- Increasing our ability to take perspectives of others different from our own cultural backgrounds. We all see through our own perspective lenses and this changes how we see images. We learn something new about our peers and open ourselves to different perspectives. None of us view the same image exactly the same.
- Most importantly this exercise is empowering. Digital Storytelling asks a lot of our students. They are putting themselves out there in a way they have never experienced. The students will feel vulnerable in the beginning but that feeling shifts and becomes empowerment. They take ownership over their stories.