Opening Question: What are some of the stories that have been passed down in your family? Allow students to share their thoughts on the subject (Five to ten minutes). After asking this question ask, How important is it that we keep these stories alive?
Transition: Tell students that these types of stories are known as oral traditions. An oral tradition is a message or story that is passed on from generation to generation by a story teller such as the African griot (storyteller). Other storytellers can be community elders such as your grandmother, great uncle, etc. Tell students that a type of oral tradition is the telling of myths.
Share with them that although some stories may be true, other stories may be myths. A myth is a story that tries to explain the relationship between man and nature or try to explain the way the world is.
Activity: Tell them that they will watch a myth. At the end of the myth they will respond to the questions on the vocabulary worksheet.
Before viewing the myth, review the vocabulary for the elements of a myth. If students have any questions after reviewing the vocabulary, have them define the terms in their own words or provide them with other examples for the word meanings.
If you are not already connected to the Internet, connect to the Internet and project this website http://mythicjourneys.org/bigmyth/2_eng_mythsa.htm You can select the continent of African and the Yoruba myth or another continent and myth depending on what the students want. Play the myth for students. As they watch the myth, tell them to record their answers on their vocabulary worksheet. Replay the myth again if students need it.
Review the answers with the class, and address any student questions.
Activity: Class Reading, "How the World was Made" a Cherokee myth. You can use the digital copy and direct students to the site or it can be found in the Glencoe Reader's Choice: American Literature Beginning-1900. Tell students that they will use the vocabulary worksheet to answer questions about the myth. Give students another copy of the worksheet to turn in at the end of the lesson.
Read part of the selection aloud with the class. Help the students answer one or two of the questions on the worksheet. Students are to complete the worksheets on their own. Review students answers to the myth and collect the papers.
If time runs out, they may finish the selection at home if they have web access or the text, or they can finish on the next day.
Opening activity: Graffiti wall. Post a colorful piece of chart paper/white paper on the door to your classroom with this question written in large writing.
Question, "How has this reading and seeing the myths changed or enhanced your understanding of the Yoruba and Cherokee cultures? Students should respond to the question as they come in to class, or they can place their books down and respond. Review students responses with the class and ask questions or allow students to elaborate if they wish.
Transition: Tell students that will be working in groups to research an ethnic group of the group's choice and research facts concerning their culture. Tell them they the will work in groups of five to research, write, and create a digital story for the ethnic group they have selected.
After assigning groups, give each a Cultural Research documentation sheet (This worksheet will can count as a test grade or quiz grade.). Tell the students that they will search for answers to the questions. Review the directions and sheet with the class. If they are not familiar with MLA style documentation, you may use their reference section in their textbooks or go to www.mla.org for guidance.
This may take one to two classes periods or more if students are not able to work together beyond the class period. After they have completed, the research. Tell the groups to complete the brainstorming sheet using the factual information (This sheet can also count as a test or quiz grade.) Tell them that the brainstorming sheet is the foundation for creating the narrative.
As they work in groups, make sure to monitor what they are doing and provide input as needed. You can have them make copies of the brainstorming sheet for them to keep as they work. Review the tasks and answer any questions that they may have.
If students are able to work beyond the class, encourage them to continue working.
If students have completed the brainstorming sheet and are ready to begin the drafting process of creating their myths. Give them a copy or have them pull up the digital copy of the Yoruba Creation myth and a story map. Read the myth as a class, and have the students to identify the elements of the myth using a story map. Review the answers as a class, and tell the groups that they can use the myth as a model for their creations.
Give them another copy of the story map and tell them use the brainstorming sheet to help begin drafting their story. Give the the rubric and checklist for drafting their myths. Review the checklist and rubric with the class. If class computers or a computer lab is available, they may begin typing their drafts in Word and save them on their class flash drives, or they may write them. Allow them 20-30 minutes to draft, and then bring the class together to discuss any issues or questions concerning their stories. After the discussion, allow them to continue to draft their stories.
Students should have a complete draft by them end of the class period. If not, allow them time to complete their drafts on the next class meeting.
Original drafts due at the beginning of the period or block. They should be printed or emailed to the teacher.
Address any questions or concerns that students may have. If all drafts are complete, hand each group a peer editing sheet. Tell the class that their drafts will be edited by two different groups within the class. Review the editing sheets with the class and answer any questions or concerns that the students may have.
Allow 20 minutes for each editing session . If students have printed their drafts, attach editing sheets to the the draft. If drafts are digital, they may use the comment or tracking application and save the document. If students are not familiar with the comment or tracking application, use the tutorial to show them or demonstrate how it is done.
At the end of the peer editing session, save the changes to the drafts or staple worksheets the printed draft and hand them back to the groups. Electronic peer edits should be emailed to the teacher.
Next, review the rubric and checklist with the class and allow groups to complete their final drafts. If students have access to computers and printers at home, they should have final drafts completed by the next class meeting.
Final drafts of the written narrative are due.
Introduction to digital storytelling: Open the class by selecting a digital story or from one of the websites from the resources selection. After viewing the selection ask students these questions:
What do you notice about the story(ies)?
What senses do they appeal too?
How did they keep your attention?
Allow students to respond the questions.
Transition: Tell students that the selection is an example of a digital story. Explain to the groups that they will be creating digital stories of their myths.
Use the PowerPoint presentation on storytelling to lead a discusson on the elements of digital storytelling. You can either have them take notes or print handouts of the presentation. Address any questions that the students may have.
Next, hand each group copies of the digital story rubric and the digital story storyboard. Tell the groups that they will use the myths and the storyboard to plan their digital stories.
Allow students time to begin working on their storyboards. Have extra copies available if they need them. Monitor the activities and be available to answer any questions. If they need to see other examples of digital myths, direct them to http://mythicjourneys.org.
Their storyboards should be complete by the end of the class period. If they are not, allow them time to complete it on the next class meeting. Remind students that all student voices should be heard in the story, and be sure to delegate speaking parts.
Allow students 10 minutes to complete the quiz. Review the answers in class (Included in resources). Reveiw the elements if need be.
Next, tell students that they will use their storyboards to create their digital stories using either PowerPoint or MovieMaker. You can either give students a printed copy of each tutorial or upload a digital copy.
Review each tutorial with students in class. You will need the computer microphones and headphones. I suggest that you play with the each program and create a short clip before presenting to the class. Allow one or two students to practice as a class.
Note, the microphones will pick up background noise. If students can not create their stories at home than, the will have to find other places such as the school library or an empty classroom to record narration.
This may take one to two days or more.
Day 7 and 8
These days may be dedicated to students finishing the final products.
Day 9 and 10
Presentation Days: If you are able too, set the classroom up as a convention. Create name plates for the countries that will be represented for the digital stories. Use the digital story rubrics and begin presentations.
At the end of each group presentation, give the group a copy of the peer and self evaluation. This will allow other groups some time to set up. Collect the peer evaluations before the next presentation begins.
Closing Assignment: In the journals, have students write about their experiences working in groups and creating myths and digital stories. If students wish, they may share their thoughts with the class.