Course & Assignment Description – The Smiling Star: Laybur (1.1)

English 109: English for International Students

University Course Catalog
ENG 109 is a 4-credit academic writing course for international students at Miami University, and provides preparation for ENG 112, satisfying part of the Miami Plan requirement for composition and literature.  The basic goals that you will achieve in this course are critical thinking, understanding of contexts, engaging with other learners, and reflection leading to informed action. The course will also provide you with additional orientation to the norms of life in American academia, and will give you practical experience with varieties of writing found across the university curriculum.

Digital Storytelling 

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn
Tell me a truth and I’ll believe
Tell me a story and I’ll remember it forever

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
   Rudyard Kipling

Some stories are true that never happened.
   Eli Wiesel

“Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.” – Digital Storytelling Association.

For this project you will create a movie that tells a personal story. The story should contain the elements of a traditional story: narrative, drama, emotion, voice, and a message.


Classmates, instructor, friends and family, the Miami community, the broader Web audience (YouTube), and anyone with whom you wish to share your story.

Content Requirements:

·       3 to 5 minutes long

·       12 to 20 images

·       200 – 400 word script

·       Voice-over narrative

·       Music throughout most of the piece

·       At least 3 photos of your own

·       At least 3 symbolic images

·       A title and credits

Due Dates:

·       Script is due Friday, October 23, class time

·       Version 1 is due Friday, October 30, class time

·       Final version is due Friday, November 6, class time

·       Turn in both the first and final version to your group page in Bb only.


1.     Brainstorming – Read though the Brainstorming handout. Free write, look through your photo archives, and share your ideas with others in the class.

2.     Scripting – Write a 200 – 400 word script that will become the audio for your story.

3.     Storyboarding – Using a children’s picture book format, map out how the passages in your scripts will match up with the images you choose.

4.     Recording – Use the recorders from the King library, or distributed in class, to record your script.

5.     Sound editing – Use Audacity ( to compose your voice and music audio file.

6.     Movie editing – Put your story into movie format using iMovie or MovieMaker2.

7.     Fine-tuning and titling – Add transitions, titles, and credits.

8.     Sharing – Publish your video online, and share with friends and family.

Finding images and sound:

You are first and foremost encouraged to use personal photos from your life back home in your country and from you life here at Miami University. In addition to the three personal photos required in this project, below are some sites that host free, open-source creative commons materials.

Still images

§  A wide variety of creative commons images can be found at:   

Music or atmospheric sounds

§  You can find creative commons licensed music at and at

§  You also might choose to record atmospheric sounds (i.e. the sound of a crowd at a hockey game or a party).