Supporting Young Learners Through a Multimodal Digital Storytelling Activity


  • Nazila Eisazadeh Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Shakina Rajendram Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada


digital storytelling, multimodal, multiliteracies, writing


This paper presents the results of a small-scale qualitative case study that explored a tutor’s role in supporting young learners through a digital storytelling (DS) activity through Microsoft PowerPoint. The two children who participated in this study were in grade one and attended private schools in Canada. Participatory observations, field notes, interviews, the children’s narratives, and observational narratives were the primary sources of data. The children carried out a DS activity during three separate sessions for each child that involved planning the story, enacting the story, creating and editing a storyboard with cameras and computers, and lastly, celebrating the stories they produced with their family members. We found that the tutor played an important role in making the activity purposeful, authentic, and passion-led (Anderson, 2016). We also found that the tutor helped the children represent and understand meaning through an integration of modes, supported their use of technology, engaged their interest throughout the activity, and encouraged self-reflection on their narrative writing skills. Our findings point to the need for future research on how digital storytelling activities can be carried out in mainstream classroom settings, where teachers can schedule one-on-one conference sessions to support children as they become multimodal composers.