The Elements of Story in MacMurtrey’s Wall

October 30, 2012

Multimedia, Storytelling, Teaching

The Elements of Story in MacMurtrey’s Wall

We’re starting our video storytelling unit in my computer apps class today.  I’m going to introduce my students to the elements of story by reading one of my kids’ favorites – MacMurtrey’s Wall by Marc Sutherland.  If you have kids and you haven’t read this book, you should find it at your library (or borrow it from me).  The story is important.  The images are beautiful.  MacMurtery is a massive man, “greater than all men who had ever lived,” but he’s simply not content.  As the story unfolds, MacMurtrey realizes the futility of his own efforts to achieve ultimate greatness on his own.  The power of community and humility are highlighted in a way that invites readers into the story.

I think I’m going to start class with lights down low simply reading, slowly and clearly, from the book.  Students might miss the first few sentences as they try and catch their bearings but I’m betting that the room will be silent after a page and we’ll all be engrossed in the story.  We’ll follow up the story with a reflection on the beginning, the middle, and the end.  We’ll talk about the hero’s journey, about conflict and resolution, and about how this same story might be told differently with different forms of media.

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About Mr. Zerwas

Passionate about Family, Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Multimedia - Teaching Video and Broadcasting and Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA

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