For me, taking a stroll down Memory Lane means digging through boxes of old photos. Determining the date the photo was taken is easy as most of them have the date printed on the white border around the picture. The coloring of the photos are a bit off, some photos are bent, others have a sticky backside from being pulled out of an album. Then I have my own children’s photos to stroll through. My first born’s photos are similar to mine being in boxes or albums, the color and clarity much richer than the old photos from the 70’s. But when I search for my third born’s photos, well that is a whole new story. Her photos are all on my computer. All digital. Instead of being piles in a box, her photos are “piles” of digital photos in a folder on my desktop. Some are organized by dated folders, but not many – that is a job for another day. Realizing that this is how most people store their photos, I wanted to teach my students a way they could bring their memories to life.
This is the third year we are creating a digital memory book. Each year, it gets better and better! This project takes about 5 months to complete and a lot of the work happens at home, on the student’s own time. By the end of fifth grade, our students will have a digital memory book that spans from birth to the end of fifth grade. It is a keepsake that I think most parents will treasure for many years to come.
Each month, students are assigned a specific time period of their life. They are asked to come to class by a specific date with photos from that time period on their iPads. This letter is sent home each month to parents to make sure students are prepared on the date we have set aside to work on the books. Along with the letter is the organization sheet the students fill out for each photo selected.
The first step is to create a title page for the first time period “birth to preschool”. Students use Keynote to create this page and can include photos if they choose. Once the slide is created, they screen shot it and then drop it into iMovie along with all of their photos from those early years. The next step is to create music to be played during the title page. Using Garageband, students can compose their own music or record themselves playing an instrument. I tell them to think of the memory they are going to tell about and have the music reflect the mood and tone of that memory. The last step is to write about a single memory from that time period using their knowledge from our recent memoir unit in writing. Students record themselves reading their memory in iMovie. This is great way for students to practice their fluency 🙂
Each time period should last about a minute with the whole memory book lasting about 7 minutes long. When “books” are completed, we have a gallery walk and allow time for others to view the books. The final step is transferring the memory books onto a flash drive for the students to take home and be able to treasure their elementary years for many years to come.
Now that…Is Positively Techie !