Creating a Story

Students create a storyboard in which they write a story and provide pictures and/or video to illustrate their story. Students can use pre-made pictures that either they own or are listed as copyright free. They may also include videos that are free of copyright to help illustrate the point or idea of their overall story. From there, they organize their pictures and/or video and incorporate them into one of the following software pieces. After the pictures/videos have been added, students then add their narration in order to bring their story to life. The final stage is to add any additional audio or music files and in some cases special transitions or movements throughout their movie.

ISTE Student Standards

  • I.Creativity and Innovation:
    • Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  • III. Research and Information Fluency:
    • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
  • IV. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making:
    • Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Levels

  • Applying
  • Creating


  • Personal Narrative
  • Math story problems
  • Biographies or Autobiographies
  • Geography Atlas - pictures of landforms
  • Describe/narrate adventure from field trip
  • How to - expository writing
  • Detail/describe a science experiment
  • Fantasy - write/narrate a make-believe story
  • English - parts of speech
  • Character analysis


Story Design and Creations

Remember that creating a digital story is not just the students having another opportunity to use the computer. This creation is more about the writing rather than the technology. Students will spend a majority of the allotted project time, in the creation and revision stage of their story before they ever get to the computer to put it together. We want to make sure they are creating an interesting writing piece that will attract and hold the attention of the audience before they put the pictures together and begin their recording. (Information source - Tell A Story by Michelle Krill)

Digital Story Process from Jason Ohler Digital Storytelling Resources


Digital Storytelling Process from Bernajean Porter - Digitales

Visit her site to receive an explanation of each of the following components in the storytelling process.
(Information source - Tell A Story by Michelle Krill)

Story Maps

storyspineJOhler.jpg StoryTransformationJOhler.jpg

(Information source - Tell A Story by Michelle Krill)


Storyboards help students map out their story and allow them to see the story along with pictures they will be using. This allows the students to see exactly how their story will flow once they begin to use the computer. This is also a chance to see how their story transforms from beginning to end to ensure their will be interest from the audience.

Story Template
Digital Storyboard
Storyboard Template pdf
Blank Storyboard pdf

Storytelling Rubrics

Jason Ohler's Storytelling Rubric
Digital Storytelling Evaluation Rubric
Storytelling Rubric
Rubric for Digital Storytelling


Photo Story 3

  • Free download from Microsoft
  • Allows pictures only - no videos
  • Add your voice to each picture individually - so that you can rerecord each section rather than entire story at once
  • Allows you to add transitions between pictures and determine the exact motion over a picture during the movie
  • Allows you to create your own music rather than incorporating 30 second portions from various collections
    • Example:
      • We Like Mud! (Daulton and Logan decided to play in a "mud pool" on a warm summer morning after mommy decided to drain the pool for a cleaning.)
  • Math Example - Using the Pythagorean Theorem to Find a Hypotenuse
  • Photostory Directions

Movie Maker

  • Available for free from Microsoft if not already loaded on your PC; most machines with XP or Vista will already have this program
  • Allows pictures and videos (they can be imported directly from your camera or from a stored location)
  • Add your voice based on the section amount you determine - it can narrate an entire story at once or have several audio files included
    • Recommend you use a program called Audacity (free download and install) to allow you to record narrations and edit those audio files before use in a movie; a lot easier to complete rerecords when needed
  • Allows transitions before/after pictures and videos
  • Allows effects to be added to pictures (zoom, sepia, etc.)
  • Allows title/ending credits to be added; as separate "images" or they can be as an overlay over another picture in the story
    • Example:
      • Daulton's Growth - From Baby to Toddler to Big Brother

Power Point

(still creating these suggestions)
  • Follow the 20 second slide rule

Online Resources