It is really easy to get lost looking through digital stories, I went around and around for several hours searching for many different things that interested me. This particular story jumped out at me, I had the opportunity to tour Yosemite not quite a year ago and found it incredibly beautiful. Seeing El Capitan and Half Dome rising from the valley floor is something that everyone should get a chance to see! This digital story is a fourth grade class’s joint project telling the story of the formation of Yosemite and how environmental factors came together to form what is today Yosemite Valley. I found the video charming in its presentation and surprisingly well assembled for a fourth grade class.
The video walks the viewer through the history of Yosemite from about 80 million years to present and there are a number of graphics to illustrate the various glaciers, mountains, etc. The graphics seem to be deliberately and deceptively unsophisticated, they resemble child’s drawings, but it is clear that the story uses a lot of them and that careful thought (and not a little talent) has gone into all of them. The other thing that is really ingenious is the use of songs to narrate the story. The students have come up with two distinctly different songs to act as the narration for their story. I think it is the songs that really make the video, they are hilarious to listen to as the kids attempt to rhyme and even rap about the glacier that carved out Yosemite Valley, leaving El Capitan and Half Dome in their wake. This rap and the drawings are interspersed with pictures of some of these memorable sites from Yosemite Valley and the students go back and review the story a second and third time to give the viewer a more complete picture. They impart a good bit of information and for anyone who hadn’t known anything about Yosemite previously, or anyone who is interested in geology, this video would be particularly relevant. For me, this is a good example of a successful digital story because it is informative while being entertaining. Its clearly an amateur work, but done with panache and shows a great deal of dedication and thought. The story uses several different types of media in its presentation as well. Perhaps most importantly for me, it conveys a sense of fun along with the information that is crucial to engaging others in their product.