Make Cycle #6: The 5-Image Story

Welcome to Make Cycle #6 in the Making Learning Connected collaboration! Let’s give the facilitators from the Maker Jawn Initiative from the Free Library of Philadelphia a big hand for inspiring us to push the boundaries of storytelling through the use of light. The variety of voices, approaches, and media is a testament to our collective creativity, and we look forward to continuing to make, share, reflect, and explore Connected Learning with you.

For this sixth Make Cycle, we will think about the power of images, and what it means to compose a text visually.

Image from

Image from

When composing with images, we are forced to think critically in a way that focuses us on our intent in order to get a clear message across. To this end, we will focus our explorations on the concept of a 5-Image Story. According to Wesley Fryer’s “Mapping Media to the Common Core,” a 5-Image Story is a “collection of five images which tell a story of some kind without using supplementary text, audio or video. The five photos should ‘stand alone’ as a story.”

BUT, feel free to break Wesley’s rules and add titles and captions to your stories.

At the Hudson Valley Writing Project, we have been playing with the 5-Image Story since Bonnie Kaplan, Co-Director, and Jack Zangerle, 8th grade ELA (Summer Institute ‘10) at Dover Middle School, co-facilitated an innovative project. The 5-Image Story seemed to be a perfect way to begin the storytelling process with a small group of tech kids. Here’s an example of a basic procedural 5-Image Story from one of the 8th grade students:

Used with permission from Jack Zangerle

Used with permission from Jack Zangerle

More recently, Andrea Tejedor,(SI ‘13) Director of Technology at Highland Falls School District collaborating with Bonnie, brought 5-Image Stories to her teacher team. Here’s a video of teachers sharing and Paul’s 5-Image Story Project with a rubric.

Completing our facilitation team, Marc Schroeder (SI ‘09), 6th-8th grade ESL teacher at Meadow Hill School, Newburgh, is ready for any digital challenge and this summer is no exception. He has joined our HVWP documenting team, capturing our Young Writers Programs in the Hudson Valley. Good thing he’s off this week.

As you choose and produce your makes this week, we invite you to think about these questions:

  • What does it mean to compose a visual text?
  • What happens when makers push the boundaries of a 5-Image Story and approach the creation of a 5- Image Story from different angles?
  • What might this process mean for classroom practices as teachers prepare for the new school year?
  • How can teachers evolve this type of composition to move beyond the definition of a 5-Image Story and move into other media rich creations?

Please continue to share your “makes” this week in our Google Plus community and in the Make Bank, and think about branching off into your own spaces and your own networks─pursuing opportunities to connect with others around shared purposes and interests. There are no defined time limits to any of the Make Cycles we present this summer. If you are curious about what a typical cycle will look like, you can read through the post about Make Cycles.

Remember that this MOOC experience is about you. We are glad that you are here, and you are welcome to blog and bolt, make and leave, think and reflect, read and remake, or lurk and learn. Participate as much or as little as you like. You’re ok!

Make with Me!

For this Make Cycle, an easy way in might be to grab your phone and head out into the world. Look for the places in your life where small stories take place. Maybe you are sitting on a blanket to enjoy a picnic in the sunshine and notice an ant taking crumbs from the blanket back to his ant hill. Snap a picture of the ant approaching the crumbs, one as he stops to take the crumb, one as he walks to his ant hill, another as he enters the hole and a final picture after he has descended home with his new meal. Bang! It’s the story of Anthony the Ant’s Afternoon Picnic.

OR: You may also choose to make an instructional 5-Image Story and use images to show how to do something through illustrating steps. If you really want to dig in, you may choose to carefully stage images to tell a story that conveys a message that you feel is important to share.

If you are really ready to take it up ANOTHER NOTCH, then you might consider using the images you take or collect and mix in other media such as music, video, narration and other effects to bring your story to life even further.

Still need help? Try starting with these five photos. Tell your story with them. Change the sequence, add a title and captions. Why not move them to TAPESTRY, free on the iphone and android phones, just for the fun of it. There are many ways you might develop your 5-Image Story.DSC_0191


Check Out These Resources

If you need images other than your own:

Flickr – If you don’t have your own photographs, this site has many beautiful photographs that you can weave together. Just remember what we always tell our students and be sure to cite your sources.

The Library of Congress – Another great place to find photographs if you don’t have your own. Most of these are in the public domain, but you still should use citations when possible.

Visit the following sites for additional resources about the 5-Image Story and a list of Cool Tools to Create and publish your voice through images:

Places to Share

Here are some handy links that might help you with your sharing and connecting:

Live Events

  • Join our Make With Me live broadcast with chat on Tuesday, July 22nd, at 7 p.m. Eastern live streamed with a synchronous chat here at CLMOOC. This session will also be recorded so you can watch the archive later.
  • We will be hosting a Twitter Chat for Make Cycle #6 on Thursday, July 24th from 7-8 p.m. Eastern with the #clmooc hashtag

Need More Information?

Finally …

Embrace the ethos of being a maker and make connections with us in the Making Learning Connected Collaboration and with others who share your interests and passions. Give yourself permission to do something new. Give yourself permission to linger on something old. Give yourself permission to do something fun. And finally, give yourself permission to fail and to succeed ─ knowing that we’ll clap for you either way.

All the best,

Bonnie Kaplan, Marc SchroederAndrea Tejedor, and Jack ZangerleHudson Valley Writing Project.

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