This week we have started with the project of digital storytelling. As planned, one class has been working on the remake of 'The Canterville Ghost' by Oscar Wilde and the other on the new episode of Angela Anaconda. The only difference will be in the setting and the puppets.
So far, I am in two minds about two things. First of all, two lessons for creating and recording the story will definitely not be enough. Grouping only took up lots of time because I wanted the groups to be heterogeneous with more and less able students distributed equally in order to promote peer learning, and the students had their own preferences which I also wanted to take into consideration. Secondly, I wonder if the task is too open- ended. I divided the task into three parts: the beginning when they are to describe their characters by using the stem sentences and the following two parts - the middle (plot) and the end (resolution) - which are open-ended. I deliberately chose not to guide them through these two parts in order to foster their creativity, but I wonder if their level of English is high enough to write the plot and resolution and present it in the form of a dialogue between the characters.
Up to now, both classes have been divided into five groups of five or six members, roles have been taken, the puppets and three settings for Angela Anaconda have been made out of shoe boxes - the classroom, pizzeria and house (the setting and puppets for 'The Canterville Ghost' are to be made tomorrow), the characters have been presented and some stories have started to unravel.
The first problem will be solved with no difficulty at all - I will add another lesson for completing the project. As regards the second dilemma, it remains to be seen if my students will be able to create coherent stories in good English. I have decided not to interfere much in their work for two reasons. First of all, this is the first time we are all doing something like this and we need to gain experience how this kind of activity works out for us. Secondly, the focus of this activity will not be on the language accuracy but rather on students' ability to use the language they have already acquired to come up with something new, and, hopefully, colourful, interesting and exciting.