Melissa Stebbins

Field Elementary School
Louisville, KY

Project Description:

Stebbins’ winning program, “ZooMania,” is a digital storytelling project designed for Kindergarten students at Field Elementary School and throughout Jefferson County Public Schools. The goals for the program are to increase students’ science vocabulary as well as improve their reading and writing, technology, and oral and listening skills. Since kindergarteners love telling stories about what they have learned, students will create a digital storytelling narrative experience about the Louisville Zoo – the animals at the zoo and those who care for them. They will participate in researching animals, interviewing zoo personnel, and taking a trip to the zoo. The project will culminate with students producing a digital narrative from beginning to end about their experiences. Each student will be responsible for writing their digital story and will use Skype regularly to communicate with the zoo personnel and their peers in other Kindergarten classes. Student experiences will be documented with flip cameras, webcams, and digital voice recorders that will be shared via podcasts. Teachers will also upload information to a classroom Wikispace to share the experiences with other classrooms, colleagues and parents. Stebbins, who lives in Louisville, hopes the program will empower, engage and encourage students to become more active participants in their own learning.