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Digital Book Report Using Photo Story 3
The previous article in the series, "Book Reports and Book Reviews Using Photo Story 3, Part I" explained how to obtain the free software from Microsoft.com, and also walked you through how each step of the program operates. In this article, I will be using the teen novel, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock as an example of how to create a digital book report with Photo Story 3.
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Step One: Selecting Images
Students must know a lot about their novel before they begin searching the internet for images to add to their Photo Story. Tell them to analyze the sequence of the plot and to find images that represent significant events and can be used to signify important traits about main characters. They do not want to give away the ending of the book, and their completed Photo Story should be similiar to a movie trailer, in that it gives the viewer a basic idea of the plot, yet intrigues them to check the book out and read it for themselves.
Students should search for images using whatever image search engine your school allows. My school still allows Google Images to be accessed on our internet server, so we typically use this method of searching for images. Using the novel Dairy Queen for my example, I searched for pictures of dairy farms and football players, since the basic premise of the novel centers around a teenage girl who lives on a dairy farm and attempts to try out for her high school football team.
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Step Two: Narrating Images
After I selected images, I put them into the software in the sequence of events outlined in the novel. When it came time to narrate each picture, I made notes in the section about what I would talk about for each image. When students begin narration of the pictures, I tell them to follow the plot pyramid steps, and try to explain the exposition, conflict, and rising action. The do not want to include the falling action or resolution, but want to leave the ending questionable to persuade others to read the book. Narration should be short and sweet, and the total time of the Photo Story digital book report should not exceed three or four minutes. Just like a movie trailer, the student's Photo Story book report should not give away the ending. Essentially, this project is not only a digital book report, but a movie trailer for the novel! Many book sellers are using "book trailers" on their websites to spark interest in a book, so you could also show those video as examples, as well.
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Step Three: The Finishing Touches
Selecting music is the last step of the Photo Story digital book report project, and the music should relate to the theme or genre of the book. For example, since the novel, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is set in the midwest and on a dairy farm, I chose country music for the Photo Story project. Encourage students to be creative in their music choices, but to not let the tune over-power the narration and images. Here is an example of a completed Photo Story project.
At the end of the work, ask students to include a visual or auditory recommendation or rating of the book. Would they give the novel four out of five stars, or a "thumbs up"? Have the students rate the book, and recommend it to friends. Students can also use the last slide to include other titles that are similiar to the book reviewed on their Photo Story digital book report. Each of thse steps are what many book reviews on websites include, and you can tie this application to real world uses of book reviews. Photo Story is a great way to bring technology into your classroom, and will update book reports into the digital age!
Creating a Digital Book Report Using Photo Story 3
Book reports and reviews get a much needed update when presented in a video format. Photo Story 3 is an excellent software for students to use when creating book reports or book reviews.