A Two Week Celebration of Story

The last two weeks have been the Carnevale celebration of two uniquely human attributes working in concert to expand our perception and imagination. A street party celebration of how to share a good story

The Caldecott, The Newbery, The Oscars, The Printz, The Odyssey, and The Geisel, awards and/or nominations all came out in the last couple of weeks. This is the sweet spot in the calendar year when the variety, power, and artistry of story and the diversity, ingenuity, and innovation of making join forces in an epic display of human-ness. Our species can be relied upon to do two things. We tell stories and we make stuff.

These cold and gloomy days of January and February must have been designed specifically for us humans to curl up and share a story.  The 21-century was built to be a petri dish in which we play with the forms and technics that make that sharing those stories more possible and powerful.

Every year I use the list of Oscar nomination animated short to talk to students about inferences and power of imagery in reading, this year’s offerings do not disappoint.

I use the Odyssey winner and nominees to introduce the element of voice, dialogue and the power of the spoken word.

Stories have always been a fundamental part of how we teach not in small part because they are one of the primary ways our brains process information and find meaning, but only in the last century have we had more than one, maybe two forms offered to us. Today I can think of eight different story formats that are readily available to our students.

As powerful and wonderful and just plain fun as the idea of all those story forms is. It is even more powerful, wonderful and fun to know that our students both the access and the tools to copy, enhance or create and share their own story forms.

Some examples of story forms you and your students may want to take advantage of:



  • Create an Audio story—
    • This requires a Chromebook
    • 20180126_133847
  • Create an Audio story with sound effects –
    • This requires a Chromebook And a tab open to Soundbible.com
    • 20180126_133931
  • Stop motion –
    • This requires a bunch of time and a Chromebook
    • digicamp2015_stopmotion101_featured
  • Shadow puppets –
    • Stick puppets are for babies unless you put them behind a screen then you get shadow puppets, which are super cool.
    • pink panther shadow puppets (c) andre musta_411x308
  • 5 Picture Stories— Also called 5 frame stories
    • This is great for story sequence lessons
    • freeze-frame-assignment-21




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