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Seven billion people, seven billion stories:
What makes a compelling life story?

Resources in sequences for this unit of work

  Resources Other references

1

People’ by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Note: The poetry website for this poem has banner advertising that may at times be inappropriate.)

The Little Frenchman: digital life story (4:02 mins)

Demander 24/7 Roller Derby Queen: ABC Open digital story (2:40 mins)

‘People’ worksheet: formative assessment item

Life story matrix worksheet: formative assessment item

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

BBC Wales: Digital stories page

ABC Open: What’s your story? page

Miller, P (2001) Writing Your Life: A journey of discovery, Allen & Unwin, Sydney

Roorbach, B (2008) Writing Life Stories, Writers Digest Books, USA

2

The Little Frenchman: digital life story (4:02 mins)

Interview with David Tytherleigh, the creator of The Little Frenchman (2:28 mins)

Demander 24/7 Roller Derby Queen: ABC Open digital story (2:40 mins)

Nguyen, Hai-Van (2004) ‘Journey to Freedom’ in Dark Dreams edited by S. Dechian, H. Millar and E. Sallis, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, pages 199–204

Street Kids: short digital life story from Australian Centre for the Moving Image (4:07 mins)

Ethical principles of life writing

Information and consent form

Life story matrix worksheet

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

ABC Open: What’s your story? page

Dechian, S, Millar, H and Sallis, E (2002) Dark Dreams: Australian refugee stories, Wakefield Press, Adelaide

3

Demander 24/7 Roller Derby Queen: ABC Open digital story (2:40 mins)

Pets help to heal wounds of Fukushima’: short ABC TV news article, YouTube (2:07 mins)

Creative Commons Music of Japan: search engine for creative commons Japanese music

Life story proposal worksheet

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

ABC video archives on YouTube

4

This (Salty) life’ from original ‘This (Salty) life’ article in The Australian, 11 April 2009: short life story submitted by a reader

ABC Open Projects: online digital projects including digital life stories

Pets help to heal wounds of Fukushima’: short ABC TV news article, YouTube (2:07 mins)

ABC Open Life Stories discussion worksheet: formative assessment item

Facebook debate worksheet: formative assessment item

Interviews, sensitivity and privacy worksheet: formative assessment item

ABC News service

ABC video archives on YouTube

5

Kylie Kwong is a Chef’: web magazine article

Kylie Kwong is a Chef’: video (8:41 mins)

Life story proposal worksheet: formative assessment item

Kylie Kwong: Print or multimedia worksheet

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

Dumbo Feather magazine

6

Helicopter Tracks: ABC Open digital story (4:51 mins)

Proper Jilji Country’: print article on ABC Open

People’ by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Assessment task 1 and Assessment task 1 rubric

ABC Open: What’s your story? page

Mum’s Dream: the story of a woman who grew up through the Cultural Revolution in China ... great for consideration of context and for learning more about Asia (3:32 mins).

7

This (Singleton) Life’ from original 'This (Singleton) Life’ article in The Australian, 2 June 2012: short life story submitted by a reader

South American Surfer: ABC Open digital story (2:00 mins)

Assessment task 1 and Assessment task 1 rubric

Pathways for analysis of a life story

ABC Open: What’s your story? page

The Weekend Australian magazine online

8

Emo kids on Batman Hill in Melbourne: image

Life story matrix worksheet: formative assessment item

Emo lives: formative assessment task

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

ABC Open: What’s your story? page

9

I’m Minnie Lumai and I was Born on Newry Station: ABC Open digital story (4:35 mins)

Please Don’t Piss in My Pond: ABC Open digital story (2:49 mins)

Demander 24/7 Roller Derby Queen: ABC Open digital story (2:40 mins)

Street Kids: short digital life story from Australian Centre for the Moving Image (4:07 mins)

South American Surfer: ABC Open digital story (2:00 mins)

 

10

Student life stories in draft form

Technology to display and share stories

Ethical principles of life writing

Life story matrix worksheet: formative assessment item

Kylie Kwong is a Chef’: web magazine article

Dumbo Feather magazine

11

Student life stories in final draft form

Technology to display and share stories

Information and consent form

Peer assessment form

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

 

12

Assessment task 2 and Assessment task 2 rubric

Information and consent form

Peer assessment form

Technology to display and share stories

 

Additional general resources Information and communication technology resources

There are several specialist life story sites. Don’t be deterred by the focus on digital in the titles. It is the construction of the narrative, and not necessarily the media, that gives a digital story its power.  

  • The 7 Elements of Storytelling and The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling from the University of Houston, Texas, which also hosts short film stories of personal reflection such as Coming to Houston (6:36 mins).
  • Community Stories About People from The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
  • The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California, is another useful resource, and especially their YouTube Channel.
  • Another key reference is the BBC Digital Stories site, providing extensive guidance and tutorials.
  • The SBS site The Block is described as a ‘virtual time capsule’ of an Aboriginal community in Sydney.
  • QUT Digital Storytelling has an extensive gallery of digital stories and information. See the suggested link in additional resources for Sequence 6.
  • The ABC TV series Australian Story, available as DVD compilations, online via the Australian Story section of the ABC website and iView and as a book (Bauer, G (2012) Australian Story: Stories of courage, determination and love, ABC Books, Sydney).
  • The ABC Open: What’s your story? page: If you live in a regional area, there may be projects and ABC producers working with the community in your area.
  • Bridges to Understanding is an organisation whose goal is to empower and unite youth worldwide, enhance cross-cultural understanding and build global citizenship using digital technology and the art of storytelling.
  • Each weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine features an article called ‘The Two of Us’. This format of exploring the connection of life stories between two people may be an interesting and challenging innovation on this unit. 
  • A particularly inspiring episode of Australian Story first screened in 2003. It is the story of Tom Nash dealing with a quadruple amputation as a result of meningococcal disease. The transcript is available online. A more recent newspaper article, ‘Tom Nash/Hookie’ (2010) reveals just how much Tom Nash has achieved since he was told 12 years ago that he had a one in ten chance of surviving. Inspiring and fascinating.
  • Open source articles exploring the role of digital stories in education.

The following are videos, or links to videos, demonstrating step-by-step introductions to a range of information and communication technology applications for the classroom.

ABC Open advice for recording interviews with smartphones: Recording video with a smartphone and Recording audio with a smartphone.

Some great apps for generating a theme of cohesive photos or video:

Software for constructing video:

This unit might be adapted so that instead of crafting a life story, students could use iMovie to create a movie trailer for an imaginary feature documentary of the life of their subject. This might be a great extension or challenge for some students.