Monday, October 17, 2011

Visual Stories

Grade 4 students created a visual story summarizing chapters from the book, Marshfield Dreams, by Ralph Fletcher. Students paired with their writing or reading partners after I read a chapter from the book. Each pair received a paragraph or less of the story in the chapter. They had to use a digital camera and come up with a picture to represent the text. Students were limited to 1-6 pictures. Stress keeping the number of photos small because it will make it easier in the next lesson. This was part 1 of the lesson and took 30-40 minutes.

The second part of the lesson involved students putting the pictures on PowerPoint, adding clip art if they wanted to, and summarizing the text. I told them to change the first person to third person using "Ralph." This helped with not copying. When they were done I sat down with each group and we went over the text. Some groups copied too much of the text and we used it as an opportunity to work on what makes a good summary. Next time, I need to talk to students about using present or past tense. I put the images on Youblisher and sent the links to the grade 4 teachers.



  1. Thank you for this post about how your students had created their visual stories, which looked appealing to any other readers including general adults! Especially this tool sounds appropriate enough to be used by any ages flexibly. In this way, the 4th graders could be writers, publishers and journalists. I thought this tool would be a collaborative way to be used by students to share with their teachers, families and friends. I love the way you utilize this tool to let them enjoy being as if they were real editors, photographers and writers in your lessons. This reminds me of KidZania world! In the end, those visual stories could become more than just products to be assessed. I am sure kids would love to see them published on the web.