Enter Here: Personal Narrative and Digital Storytelling

Narrative writing can inspire students to use their experiences to achieve academic and personal goals. At the Life Writes Project, we take narrative writing and encourage students to re-imagine their identities through creative exercises and assignments, such as poetry pieces and short stories. In the case of this article, students achieve similar realizations through digital storytelling.

Sara Kajder’s article, “Enter Here: Personal Narrative and Digital Storytelling,” was published in the January 2004 issue of The English Journal. In this article, Kajder discusses a long-term digital storytelling project through which her students’ expanded their literacy skills and engaged in an environment that allowed them to work as more than just academic readers and writers.

This article provides a detailed step-by-step process of the digital storytelling project, incorporating several in-text quotes and examples of her students’ work. One example focused on a student, Rochelle, and her relationship with her mother. Through the digital platform, Rochelle used her own voice to tell the story, choosing when and how to let the images speak for themselves.

Kajder’s assignments focus on validating and understanding her students’ personal stories while encouraging them to see themselves as true writers. By communicating through creative platforms, students begin to value their work, and their personal stories, on an academic level. 

How do you incorporate the use of personal narratives in your classroom? Share your thoughts with us. You can find us on Facebook or tag your comments on Twitter with #LifeWrites

This contribution was made by Christina Ugrovics, senior English: Professional Writing major, French minor at Elizabethtown College, PA.