Teacher resources » My view, my place, my story

My view, my place, my story



Digital storytelling through personal narrative is a powerful way to show and provide context for our lived experiences. Everyone has a different view, a different place and a different story. In this activity, students create a digital story in multiple modes (video, text, sound, images) to show their view of their world and their context in the world in order to bring us into their lives.

This activity can be a lesson in a series about digital storytelling or it can be an entire unit project or stand alone lesson. After creating their stories, have a showcase where students share their stories and their lives. This allows for powerful connections to be made between students, their stories, their worlds, and their lived experiences.

Keywords: ELA, Media Arts, Reflection

Good for: Individual work, identity development, expression

Grade level: K-12

Skill level: Intermediate


Student Instructions

Copy and paste the information below directly into the description box when creating your student assignment, or, use it as inspiration to make your own!

Create a personal narrative about an experience in your life. Take an essay or piece you have written about yourself and turn it into a digital story. 

Anyone can create a video based on their view of the world. Craft a story that speaks about your place in the world. What do you see when you look out your bedroom window? What do you see when you look down your street, at your neighborhood, at your city? What do you want people to know about you, your view, your life, your story? Write a short piece and then transform that into a video.

Lesson planning support

Tips to help your instruction in this activity or help to get you started!

  • Personal narrative and lived experience are powerful ways to amplify student voice. Integrate this project into traditional nonfiction prose lessons or expository writing lessons to help students discover their voice. 

  • This activity can also be done in a documentary film format. Student documentarians can capture the lived experiences of others. 

  • This project might take some time! It may be helpful for you and your students if you align this project with a writers workshop and skill building exercises in non-fiction or expository writing. 

  • If you don’t have the capacity or resources to turn this into a film project that may require the collection of external media footage, pare down the project by allowing students to turn a personal narrative, essay, or piece of expository writing into a video simply by using voiceover and footage from the stock media library.

Technical Skills

Students Will…

Academic Skills

Students will…

21st Century Skills

Students will…

  • Engage with the video editing process at an advanced level

  • Use multiple editing features 

  • Combine text, audio, images, backgrounds, and footage

  • Practice importing and editing external and internal media

  • Write narratives to develop real, lived experiences using effective techniques, details, and structured event sequences

  • Use technology to produce and publish writing

  • Use their creativity to produce a narrative in multiple modalities (i.e. written text, visual images, sounds/audio) by engaging with technology

  • Develop critical analysis of their own lived experiences and the experiences of others.

English/Language arts: Personal narrative can be taught across grade levels and age segments and meets many of the common core anchor standards in language arts. Students are often taught how to develop stories founded in real events through the production of short stories, opinion pieces, or essays. Any of these projects can be transformed into a video project that offers personal authorship, deeper connections to the writing process, and elevated voice for students

Media Arts: Video creation and editing fits seamlessly into a creative arts environment as does digital storytelling. Using this activity in a creative arts environment helps to integrate traditional storytelling, personal narrative and technology together, creating meaningful learning experiences outside of the traditional subject matter disciplines. 

Reflection: Stories based on real life offer moments of reflection about our lived experiences. Building reflective experiences into the curriculum is a proven way for students to become more involved in meaning making experiences through classroom activities.

Other resources

A great place to deepen your storytelling skills: