duke ellingtonThere are two Common Core standards that specifically address stories told with multimedia.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.7 Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

However there are several reasons beyond “because the standards said so” to incorporate multimedia stories into your classroom.

Multimedia can enhance the telling of a story in a way a book cannot be because of audio capabilities.  As teachers, our first thought is usually that voiceovers can help our students who are struggling with reading a text independently.  Yet there are other elements audio can add to particular stories that contribute to a richer understanding of the topic.

For example, the picture book Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney is enhanced in a multimedia version by allowing students to hear Duke Ellington’s music.

The same is true for Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss.  In the multimedia version, students get to hear the sound of each of the orchestral instruments.

Multimedia stories can also encourage student thinking about how stories can be told in different ways.  In an multimedia version of the short story, Zlateh the Goat by Isaac Bashevis Siger, there is no dialogue.  Students have the opportunity to experience a story told only visually and through narration.  They have to play close attention to non-verbal clues in the characters actions and in the setting of the story.  All information is not explicitly stated by the narrator which forces students to use higher order thinking skills and to draw conclusions.

How have you used multimedia stories to enrich your students’ experiences with literature?

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