Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Storytelling - beyond PowerPoint

A post Telling a Story -- with PowerPoint? has prompted me to dig up my old bag of tricks.

What about giving your students a project involving technology and story telling? Here is a lesson plan for your adaptation.

Teach your students how to organise a good story, e.g. use the template suggested by Dave Pollard.

and may be with further information about story structures such as Pyramid Principle turned sideways or Elevator Pitches.

Group your students into small groups and let them know that they are going to create a 10-minutes animated play as a project. Show them your animation*. Open your animation and show how you did the first screen or two. Send them off. When they have finished their project (in a week or two), they will have an animated play of their stories. Have a show and tell session. During this session, give them a handout with the name of the story from each group and some appreciation/evaluation rubrics. The students are asked to rank the stories (except their own).

This exercise involves the students in the creation, then critical evaluation other's work. Should be fun!

What is the agent?
Click on this link to see the animated agent in action. Make sure you open this link using Internet Explorer on a Windows machine. If it does not work, you are not running Windows XP and you need to download some runtime. Follow the instruction in the next section and try again.

Technology requirement:
You will need windows to have the animated characters playing and talking. If you are running Windows XP, the required runtime is already installed. Otherwise, go to Microsoft Agent download page for end-users. This will enable you and your students to play the animated PowerPoint.

To create the animated PowerPoint, you need to get the MS PowerPoint agent narrator: The PowerPoint 2000 version or PowerPoint 97 version.

You may want to get more characters as well: Genie, Merlin, Peedy and Robby from Microsoft and some other as well. See the additional resource section.

*What about we have a little competition here? Please create your demonstration animated PowerPoint (theme: "how to use animated PowerPoint to teach story telling") and send it to me (albertipwingchung AT gmail.com) with the subject "animated story telling". I will share all your submission here later. If you have included characters other than those from Microsoft, please tell me the source of the character file so that I can download them as well. The best submission will have a little gift from me. This competition closes on 28th March 2005. My decision of the winner is final, OK?


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