Photo Story Seasons: A 1st Grade Collaborative Project

Each student had a chair to put pictures in, a camera, and a cord for downloading

Over the past few weeks, students in 1st grade have been working on a seasons unit around their weather standards in science.  This collaborative project involved the 1st grade teachers, the art teacher, and the media center.  In class, students learned about weather in the various seasons, dressed paper dolls in appropriate clothing based on the seasons, and wrote sentences about each season.  In art, students created background images on construction paper for each season.

In the media center, students came for 2 sessions to create  photo story about their creations.  They took digital photographs of their paper dolls in each season, imported their photographs onto the computer under their own accounts, and used photostory to record their scripts for each season.

The amount of technology that students used in the media center was  a bit overwhelming, but they accomplished so much.  To do this project, students had to figure out:

  • how to turn on a digital camera and take a photograph that included all of the subject in the shot
  • how to login to a computer with their own username and password, which included understanding how to use the mouse and keyboard
  • open multiple programs on the computer and go through program wizards to complete the various tasks
  • save pictures into their picture folder and delete photographs from a camera
  • import pictures into photostory
  • arrange pictures in the correct sequence to go along with the script
  • use a usb microphone to record scripts for each photo in the photostory
  • save and view their final piece
Once I actually listed out all of those skills (and I’m sure there are some that I missed), it really is amazing what we accomplished in 2 days.  I won’t pretend that it was smooth and quiet, because it was very chaotic, messy, and loud.  It took multiple adults supporting the students, but the students were eager, excited, and productive.  I also won’t pretend that every student got their pictures in the right order or that they recorded the right script on the right picture.  I CAN say that every student went through the process and learned something about using technology to create a digital product.  They had permission to explore without endless instruction on what to click on and what to push on.  Instead, they had some freedom to try things and had a lot of adult support individually.
I think that as a result of this project, we’ll see many more uses of technology in our early grades, and we will continue to collaborate across multiple subject areas.
 

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