Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Elementary
1st Grade, Digital Storytelling, Lesson Plan, Narratives, adobe-ccexpress, adobelessons, july22
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Summer Adventures

Summer Adventures


This lesson plan is intended for 1st grade students. It is a project type lesson for writing a personal narrative about what they did over the summer using Adobe Spark to create a digital story. 


This is a digital storytelling lesson where students will make a digital story about something fun they did over the summer using Adobe Spark. It is done face-to-face within the classroom, and will take about 45-60 mins either in one day or over the course of a couple of days.


Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson you will need a basic understanding of writing a personal narrative. You will need to explain to students the structure of a story, and be able to teach them about the elements of good digital storytelling. Refer to this article for information on this topic.

You will also need to know the basics of how to us Adobe Spark in order to teach and help students use this. Here is a link to a tutorial. A model of a digital story about what you did this summer will need to be made to show students for the introduction of this lesson.

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to create a digital story, telling a personal narrative of something they did this summer using Adobe Spark

Success Criteria:

  • Students will have a beginning, middle, and end to their story with 2-3 events
  • Students will draw their own pictures, or use digital pictures
  • Students will include music and narration 
  • Students will use transitional words like first, next, then, last, etc.


Step 2 - Planning Instruction


Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of what a personal narrative is, and how to fill out a graphic organizer
  • They will need a tutorial or experience using Adobe Spark
  • They will need to see an example of a digital story shown by the teacher
  • How to read with expression

Strategies for Diverse Learners

  • Provide sentence starters for students
  • Help them to find the pictures they need
  • Take their organizer and assist them in creating complete sentences
  • Provide premade slides for them to fill in
  • Let them share to a smaller audience
  • Provide practice of narration before recordering
  • Have student verbally give narration and the teacher writes it down for them

Step 3 - Instruction


lntro: Begin by sharing a digital story made by the teacher about what they did this summer. Explain to students that they will be creating their own digital stories about something they did this summer using Adobe Spark (exsposure to this tool prior to this lesson is preferred). Show students the rubric and review the requirements for their digital story.

Idea: Have students turn and talk to a partner about what they did this summer to brainstorm and decide on an idea for their digital story. Once students have an idea they can fill out the graphic organizer as a proposal for their story, and get it checked off with the teacher. Remind students this is just a quick picture and a few words for each part, they are not writing full sentences yet.

Write/Script: Hand out the script paper to students and have them write out their whole story in complete sentences, and explain to them that this will be their script to read from when they record the narration for their digital story. Encourage students to add details and to use transitional words like next, then, after that, etc. Once students have written their story, they can come show it to the teacher. The teacher can check to make sure the sentences are complete and it makes sense, and help with any misspelled words.

Storyboard/Plan: Once students have their script, they can get a storyboard paper and begin to plan out their slides for Adobe Spark. Students should come up with a title slide, choose what type of image will be on each slide (photo of a drawing or digital image), and what part of their script they will read for that slide by using colored highlighters on their script and stating which color sentences go with which slide. 

Gather/Create Images: Students will then spend time creating or finding the images they need. Explain to students they have 2 options: draw their own pictures and take a photo to upload using an ipad or find a digital photo online on any of the free stock photo websites. Students can be taught how to upload/download and save these photos into a folder to use later.

Put it All Together: Students will then login to Adobe Spark and begin creating their digital story using their storyboard plan and image folder. Explain to students that they must choose a theme, make a title slide, and choose background music before working on the rest of their story. Once finished their slides, students will take their script and find a quiet place to record the narration (instruction on expresssion and narration given previously). When finished, the teacher will do a quick overview to make sure narration is good, background music isn't too loud, etc. Then students will submit their link or post the link on a class page.

Share: Once everyone is done (possibly on another day) students will watch the digital stories of their peers. This can be done whole class, in small groups, or individually with students clicking on links on a class page and watching on their own devices. 

Reflection: After watching stories, students will discuss in groups or whole class what they noticed about their peers stories that they liked, and what they could improve on their own digital story next time. Feedback will be given from the teacher on the rubric with commments.


Step 4 - Assessments


The teacher will watch each student's digital story and give feedback using rubric criteria as well as comments on the back of the rubric of 2 celebrations and 2 suggestions for each student.