SOS: Summer Twist on Half the Story

School’s out for summer and your Discovery Education Community members are putting a twist on our SOS series.  Each week we will post how educators have taken their favorite strategies and made them their own.

Do you have an idea for a new SOS? Share it with us, so we can feature you!


Half the Story

Original PDF and Vignette

Twist provided by Brandon Wislocki from Irvine Unified School District  in California.  You can learn more about Brandon by following him/her on Twitter at  @OCTechNet.


Half the story is a strategy that uses a DE asset, usually a photo, to springboard a discussion. The teacher zooms in to one part of the picture and asks students to guess what the picture is showing. Next, the teacher will zoom out to show the full picture and ask how seeing the entire picture changes their perception.

I modify this strategy by adding the web tool Zaption to the mix. Using either iMovie or Animoto, I create a quick montage. I then upload that into Zaption and create a Zaption tour that allows me to have the video pause at certain points and solicit a response from the students. I like this because I am able to get quick checks from students about what they think the picture might be. Students are also able to have discussions within the video about what they see.

Using Zaption allows me to have the students watch the video at home and come to school with a small understanding of what we are going to be talking about in class that day. The last benefit of using Zaption to improve this SOS Strategy is that I am able to get participation from each student in my class.

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