Digital Storytelling Rubric

I want to give my students a simple yet effective rubric to follow when creating their digital story. The grades I would want to use this activity with are the younger grade like first and second grade so a simplistic rubric is my goal. To assess my students on this project I felt that the following criteria were the best points of interest. The four core traits of digital stories that I thought were crucial to assessing include connection, organization, content, and media application. The first trait of assessing is connection. Connection is the first trait because I feel that it is so important for the students to see how the collected information on their chosen country, relates to the geography standards within the unit. Next is the organization. Organization is crucial especially when making a digital story. Digital stories need to follow a story line and chronologically make sense to the viewer. Putting their thoughts together into a cohesive thought should be one of the main priorities for the student creating this digital story. Next is the content criteria. This part of the rubric talks about useful information being included in the story. It is very important that all of the content directly relates to the activity. Lastly I was the students to focus on the media application. This part of the assessment is very important because I want the students to have certain technological aspects to the digital story such as photos, transitions, background music, voiceovers, and ending credits. Overall, with this rubric, students can have a better vision on what their digital story should look like.

Digital Storytelling Script- Peruvian Adventure

There are approximately 195 countries in the world. It is easy to get caught up in life around you and forget about the people that you might not interact with. Every country is different and experiences different climates, people, environments, and celebrations/holidays. For this project, each student in our class was able to pick a country that we are not familiar with and to virtually travel there to immerse ourselves in a life that is unfamiliar. The country that caught my eye for this project was Peru. In this digital story, we will travel to this unknown country and learn to appreciate the Peruvian lifestyle and see that it is not so different from our own.

Peru is a beautiful country full of flourishing national parks, unique architecture, and just really happy people. A city that stood out to me during my research was Cusco. The 16th century colonial architecture and narrow winding streets give the city a very unique feel. There is a big Central open courtyard in the middle of the city named Plaza de Armas. Peru is also home to one of the seven wonders of the world. Machu Picchu is a huge tourist attraction that has a lot of history within it. 

The official language of Peru is Spanish but many of the people are educated in English as well and can speak it pretty fluently. The people of Peru are a mix of many different cultures including Indians, Spaniards and other Europeans descendants of African slaves and Asians. People in Peru dressed similarly to us, but some people still wear their traditional Peruvian clothing that is made from alpaca fur beautifully weaved together and dyed with flower petals. 

Similar to the United States, Peru celebrates different holidays, festivals, and traditions. They enjoy food similar to ours but also have specific types of foods that are specific to their country. Soccer and many other sports are a huge part of Peruvian life. They do not have football but fútbol which is super popular in this country. 

It is important to appreciate different cultures and different ethnicities and to see what makes each person so unique. Especially at a young age we should acknowledge that there so many people and environments that are different from our own. What we see around us is only a fraction of what this world is made of. 

Story Board- Peruvian Experience

This digital story will be an opportunity for students to pick a country of their choice and learn about the people, culture, similarities, and differences between their home and this new place. This is a geography lesson plan that will cover the standards that involve learning about the physical environment and human activity that happens in that environment. Students need to see that there is a world outside of their everyday life and learn about how different people all over the world interact with each. Using a digital story will give the students a chance to “travel” to another country and learn about an unfamiliar area.

Blog Post | Digital Storytelling Lesson Description

  1. Cooperating/Mentor Teacher and School (If applicable)
  • N/A
  1. The title of the unit of study
  • A Place I Want To Travel To
  1. The name or type of course that the unit is part of.
  • This will be a part of the Geography Unit for my second grade class. 
  1. Context of the Learning Environment | Describe key dimensions of the learning environment: e.g. number, grade of students, an overview sense of important individual differences (class, race, gender, ability, etc.) 
  • This would be a normal class size of second graders (20-25 students).
  • The class is diverse with different genders, races, and abilities. The goal of the lesson will be to advise students to learn about a country that they are unfamiliar with and do not know anything about. The digital story will represent that student “traveling” to that country and discovering new sights and history about the country. 
  1. Describe available technology for digital storytelling and the types of digital technology, hardware and software, students are already using in class.
  • This would depend on the school that I am in and what the school provides with technology. I would use the laptops or iPads that the school provides and have the students use the WeVideo platform to create their digital stories. 
  1. Description of this unit of study and how digital storytelling fits into the overall purpose and flow of the unit.
  • Students use knowledge of geographic locations, patterns and processes to show the interrelationship between the physical environment and human activity and to explain the interactions that occur in an increasingly interdependent world. Students use knowledge of perspectives, practices and products of cultural, ethnic and social groups to analyze the impact of their commonality and diversity within local, national, regional and global settings.
  • A Child’s Place in Time and Space The kindergarten year is the time for children to begin to form concepts about the world beyond their own classroom and communities. Culture, heritage and democratic principles are explored, building upon the foundation of the classroom experience. Children deepen their learning about themselves and begin to form an understanding of roles, responsibility for actions and decision-making in the context of the group setting
  • Digital storytelling will give students a hand-on opportunity to experience and different country and narrate their “travel” experience.
  1. In your own words, list the most important 1-3 specific objectives/goals you have for student learning during this unit of study. State the particular concepts you expect students to understand and/or the skills/behaviors you want them to demonstrate. Use one of the following stem phrases: a) Students will be able to ….  Or b) “I can statements” framed from the students’ point of view.
  • I can form concepts about the world beyond my classroom and my community.
  • I can use knowledge of geographic locations, patterns and processes to show the interrelationship between the physical environment and human activity and to explain the interactions that occur in an increasingly interdependent world.
  • I can learn about different cultures that are unlike my own and learn about the differences between my background and someone else’s. 

Video Game Blog Post 3 Gee Article

The game “Lets Go Luna” has been overwhelmingly helpful in introducing me to the idea of using video games in the classroom. This has been an eyeopening experience for me because I had no idea that there were so many educational opportunities in the video gaming world.

James Gee’s article discusses many different ways that video games can be beneficial in a classroom environment. One of these benefits is that they allow children to experience a simulation of events that they may not experience in real life. My favorite point that Gee makes is that video games can “build simulations to understand and make sense of things, but also to help you prepare for action in the world.” Especially at the elementary school age, it is important to allow students to experience things that they might face when they grow older. These experiences might impact how they want to make decisions in the future. Not only that but video games can give these students practice for what is to come. We are given an unlimited amount of resources on the internet to help students progress their learning and it is our job as teachers to find these resources and implement it in learning. Technology has advanced to the point that it is almost a necessary component of learning. This video game exploration has shown me the ways, not only technology, but video games are beneficial in student learning.

Video Game Blog Post 2 McDonalds Game Comparison

I had the opportunity to play the McDonalds Video Game and I wanted to do a comparison to the video game I am exploring (Lets Go Luna). These two games had many similarities. For instance, they both provide a simulation that is engaging to students and allows them to make decisions how ever they choose seems fitting. These games provide information and access to opportunities that students might not be able to experience in their everyday life. I love that both games allow the player to have full control over their actions

These games also had a couple differences. The McDonalds Video Game seems to have an ulterior motive as an underlying factor. The same had political stereotypes and and biased motives. Although it was informational, it is hard to tell what parts of the game are accurate to real life. For the Lets Go Luna game, there is no bias involved, just factual information that can provide new and interesting knowledge about an unknown area of content.

Overall, I really did enjoy playing the McDonalds Video Game because it was fast pace and always had me on my feet. There was always a task needed to be done and it was fun trying to keep the company running smoothly! Maybe I will be a CEO one day…or maybe not.

Below is a screenshot of the game. This is a scene where the player is farming to create more soy and meat for the company.

Video Game Blog 1 -PBS Kids “Lets Go Luna”

When browsing through the games provided, I wanted to find a game that was information as well as fun. I have always been a huge fan of geography, and I found an awesome game from PBS Kids that takes you on a journey to different cities throughout the world. This game is called “Lets Go Luna” where an adorable moon guides to you through the cities New Orleans, London, Paris, Juneau, and Rio de Janeiro. https://pbskids.org/luna/games/lunas-seek-and-find

Each city that we traveled to had different tasks to complete while visiting. In Juneau, Alaska we had to help a photographer take pictures of the animals that lived there. Every time we took a picture, Luna the Moon would give information and random facts about that animal. In New Orleans, Louisiana we collected instruments for a jazz band. When collecting the instruments we were able to hear how it sounds and the impact it has on the jazz culture. In Paris, France we entered a bakery and made some delicious French cuisine while also learning the french words for that food. In London, United Kingdom we helped a street performer collect items for his juggling act. I really liked this city because the items used to juggle were objects that we have in America, but are called something different in the UK. For example, we had to find the soccer ball which is actually called a football in London and chips that are actually called crisps. Lastly, we traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While visiting Rio de Janeiro we helped an artist create a float for the city festival called “Carnival.” Luna explained what this event is and how it is important to the Brazilian culture. I absolutely loved this game because every task that we did involved valuable information about that city and their culture which might not be familiar to students especially at a young age.

I could definitely see myself incorporating this game in a geography lesson to give the students the feel as if they are actually traveling to the country. This game reminds me of other games I use to play as a child, but with better graphics. A couple games that I remember playing in elementary school were games on coolmath.com and study island. Many of those games were considered “drill and practice” games which I got bored of very easily. “Drill and practice” games can be beneficial when used for a short amount of time or in a group setting but for an individual, they need a more complex or puzzling game to keep their interest. Looking through this PBS platform, I would highly recommend using it in the classroom because it provides games for all ages and most subject areas. Not only that, but PBS has very intricate games that allow the student to feel like they are really inside the activity.

Below are some pictures of the game. As you can see, the first picture shows all the cities and where they are placed on a world map. You should check this game out!