The Eyes of a Blog: Images

Edublogs Challenge #5:  Create a story in 5-10 images.  Easy . . . or is it?  The option I chose was to create a story with 5-10 images and no words.

"Easy" is what I said when I started this challenge.  I quickly located some pictures that would work for this challenge and eagerly uploaded them into Animoto.  I LOVE Animoto and soon I was on automatic pilot busily creating my first video.  It had great captions/title slides that helped me tell my story.

I watched it and remembered that part of the challenge was to try not to use any words.  Okay, no problem. Animoto has an easy remix button, so I removed all the text slides except for the first (introduction) and the last (conclusion).  Surely they were necessary to tell my "visual" story.   Or were they?

I re-read the challenge again and realized that my story had more than 15 slides.  I would need to whittle my 18 slide story down to 10 (5 would be impossible) and AVOID words!  Was this possible?  Yes . . .I had to remove any slide that didn't contribute something important to my story.  However, I wasn't able to give up the first and last text slide as I decided they were important to my story.  My video went from 2:21 to 1:04  . . . I cut it in half! Here's my final draft.

What's the point?  Economy.  Economy is an important aspect of digitial storytelling.  Too often students (and adults) want to include every little detail into their stories.  More is better!  Right?!  Not exactly, I realized there's something to be said for simplifying story telling to just a few elements (5-10 images).  I've never had my students create a "story" with no words.  What a wonderful way to develop visual literacy and reinforce the learning styles of visual learners.  I think that using wordless books like Tuesday by David Wiesner and The Red Book by Barbara Lehman would be great models for stories like this.  Students could use Animoto, Photostory 3 or Movie Maker to create their stories.  

The lesson I learned from this challenge is I don't always need to have so many words in my blog entries.  I often include imagery in my blogs, but I don't use the principle of economy with my words.The longer a blog entry the better!  I realize that more WORDS isn't always better, sometimes more PICTURES can tell the story better.

DI w/Tech in a NutShell:
Creating stories without words can help develop visual literacy skills of your students.  Teachers can use create wordless digital books for their students to practice inferring skills, too. 

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Book Fan said...

What a great post! I am currently working on a unit of instruction on blogging for sixth graders. I am going to bring my students to this post when we talk about writing effective posts. Thanks for sharing.

tammydewar said...

Hi Aimee,

Very cool. I love Animoto, too!

I love this idea for kids, but am wondering how I would teach it. How would I guide my students to creating effective posts? What language would we use to talk about what makes an effective visual post?

Lots of learning for me, and my kiddos. Love it.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Pam said...

This is a great idea for visual literacy and requires a lot more thinking and language skills than it appears. It's nice to just focus on what the images are saying and not have the clutter of text for a change. It also makes choosing the most suitable photos to sequence the story very important. I will definitely try this idea.
You can see my slightly different image story on
You too can paint the world a beautiful picture

Aimee Boucher said...

@Book Fan . . . I would also visit Linda Yollis' blog ( I use her "How to comment" resources with my students. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Aimee Boucher said...

@tammydewar . . . I would start by sharing a model and then create one with my class using photos from a shared experience. Once you release kids to do their own . . . encourage your class to help each other. It's also helpful to have criteria or a rubric, so students know what is expected.

Aimee Boucher said...

@Pam . . . I am excited to try it with my class. I suspect my visual learners will enjoy this type of assignment, but I wonder how my auditory and kinesthetic students will respond to it! Thanks for commenting.

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