Many people after listening to “Donny and the Ghost” have asked “What happens next to Donny?” The students at Molalla Elementary School have worked very diligently to provide an answer: this new tale. Not only did we write a new script, but we bought a new microphone and selected a different cast to play Donny, his mother and father and a host of supporting roles. (You — and Donny — get to meet Emma Jean Tealeaf at last.)
If you haven’t yet listened to “Donny and the Ghost” we suggest you scroll down this page and do that first. After you’ve done so, sit back and relax for a story which we believe you will find very funny. Please let us know what you think.
— Mr. Bledsoe, 4th/5th grade teacher, Molalla, Elementary, Molalla, Oregon
“Donny and the Ghost” is about a boy so involved in his computer games that he is oblivious to a ghost haunting his bedroom. This podcast is based on a short story I wrote in the mid-90’s.
This year’s class (2006 – 2007) is a collection of especially talented writers and oral readers. Last Fall it occurred to me that this would be the perfect group to turn “Donny” into a theater podcast. Tyler, a 5th grader, volunteered to rewrite the short story as a script–which was no easy task. The class then revised and edited that script (revising and editing are a vital part of the writing process even with theater podcasts). Using the vocal talents of (4th grader) Jacob as “Donny,” (5th grader) Denise as “Donny’s mother,” and an assortment of other character actors and narrators we began recording in late November 2006. It wasn’t until February 2007 that all the voices were recorded, music and special sound effects composed and the pieces assembled.
For this tale I needed to write music which imitated the style of music I’ve heard used in arcade-style video games. After I completed the music and played it for my students, they asked if the music could be available separately from the podcast. Of course! Kids (and adults) should feel free to dowload it (below) to their iPods or other .mp3 players. (Nearly all the special effects were created by us. Even the moaning, gurlging, growling ghost sounds were made by me with the help of a little digital magic.)
TIP: Our podcast is recorded using high quality stereo sounds. For maximum enjoyment, listen with headphones.
Click on the title to download the file to your browser (if you’d like to download it for your iPod or other mp3-player) or click on the right-pointing triangle below the title to play it from this webpage. Sit back, relax and enjoy “Donny and the Ghost.” — Mr. Bledsoe, 4th-5th grade teacher, Molalla Elementary School, Molalla, Oregon.
Here is a Christmas story I tell my students every year. I’m afraid it’s perfectly true. Now I can share it with students across the US. –Glen L. Bledsoe, 4th/5th grade teacher, Molalla Elementary School, Molalla, Oregon.
Too Many Taras is an example of what students at Molalla Elementary (in Oregon) have been doing for the last few years: story telling using still photos in a digital environment. “Too Many Taras” (15 minutes, 22 seconds). Influences are the movie “La Jetée” and the movies of Night Shyamalan. I hope you enjoy the “twist” ending.
An example of stop animation we made a few years ago is School Train (4 minutes).
Two examples of computer animation used in expository writing and story-telling are (respectively) “How to Animate a Rolling Ball” (2 minutes, 18 seconds) and “Zorton” (5 minutes, 26 seconds). After you click on the above link scroll down a bit to view both movies.
At last, students from Molalla, Oregon have tossed their hats in the ring. Here’s their first official podcast to YouthRadio. It is a GandhiCast–reflections on Mohandhas K. Gandhi from a group of students far away in place and in time.