Storytelling in the 21st Century

I’ve long been interested in different ways of telling stories (aside from the traditional, print forms that tend to be privileged in ELA classrooms). When I taught high school, I spent time teaching students how to “read” films and saw some solid success with that as students became much more critical about how they viewed films (not the negative “critical” but, rather, more thoughtful and analytical). Part of my motivation behind this was the sense that my students were likely to view more films in their lives than read books, so I wanted them to gain some knowledge of how stories are told through that medium.

Video games represent another medium with huge potential for storytelling and with a broad reach into the lives of many of our students. (Perhaps more so than film, as video games have surpassed films in terms of revenue.) Interactive storytelling has a long history (almost as long as the history of computers), and I recently came across one venue for this kind of storytelling that I think is worth a look. We’ll talk more about this in class when we discuss integrating technology in the classroom, but you might want to take a look at the story linked at the site below. (HINT: to begin, click on the red text and look for colored text throughout the story.)