English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Outline
  • Projects
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Multimedia Memoirs

    Multimedia Memoirs


    What does a multimedia memoir look like? Students will continue to explore website-creation or portfolio platforms they can use to create and publish their self-portrait. They’ll take a close look at a multimedia story to examine its features and plan the media they will use to express their own work.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Select a sample multimedia story (or stories) to review with students.

    Self-Portrait Goals

    • In this lesson students will be exploring the capabilities of a multimedia story in greater depth and thinking about how the structure and features of a multimedia story can help them tell their own stories.
    • Listen to a few responses so that students can begin to get ideas from each other.
    • ELL: When calling on students, be sure to call on ELLs and encourage them to participate as actively as their native English language-speaking counterparts, even if their pace might be slower or they might be more reluctant to volunteer due to their weaker command of the language.
    • Then review the Self-Portrait Project with your class.


    Complete a Quick Write. Use the following sentence to state your goals for your self-portrait.

    • In my ideal world, my self-portrait would show ___ and would include ___.

    Open Notebook

    Then review the Self-Portrait Project with your teacher.

    Multimedia Features

    • Choose which of the sample stories you would like to review with the class in more detail. (It might be useful to look at more than one story.) Whichever story or stories you choose, be sure to highlight various features and functions available in a multimedia story, including audio, photos, maps, timelines, videos, links, slideshows, etc.
    • Lead the students in a discussion of what planning and steps might be necessary to get to this kind of final product: it’s important that they consider the outlining, producing, creating, uploading, etc., that they will need to do.
    • SWD: Be sure to encourage SWDs to share. If you feel they need to be supported before sharing, try to find time to allow them to share with a partner first and then with the whole group (if logistics for this wouldn’t be too complicated).

    Work Time

    Read through the example of a multimedia story with your teacher, looking closely at the different features.

    • What kind of thinking, planning, organizing, and creating do you think went into this work?

    Self-Portrait Brainstorm

    • Encourage students not to limit their thinking at this stage. If there is a piece of themselves that they want to share, they can probably find a way to share it—by taking a video of themselves, recording an interview with a family member, or creating a slideshow with images of their past.

    Work Time

    At this point, you have thought a lot about what you want your self-portrait to reveal about you. Now your task is to clarify this message even further, and to begin brainstorming ways that the features available in a multimedia story can help you communicate this message.

    • Take some time to start filling in the Self-Portrait Brainstormer to help you think about possible chapters and resources you can include in your self-portrait.

    Challenges and Questions

    • Read through these Quick Writes to get a sense of how students are feeling about creating a multimedia story. You may want to address their questions at the beginning of the next lesson.
    • ELL: When eliciting answers, be cognizant of the difficulties some ELLs encounter when they have to express themselves in another language. If you see that they write the correct things but use the wrong grammar structure, give positive feedback and rephrase using the correct grammar (using the student’s words as much as possible).


    Complete a Quick Write to answer these questions about the work you have done in this lesson.

    • What is the most exciting part of creating a multimedia story? What do you think might end up being challenging?
    • Finally, what questions do you still have?

    Open Notebook

    Self-Portrait Materials

    • Emphasize to students that this is not a project that can be completed entirely during class time. They’ll need to set aside a significant chunk of out-of-school time if they want to create a self-portrait that really shows something about themselves.
    • SWD: Before sending them off with the homework, check that students fully understand what is expected of them.


    Your project will require that you do a lot of independent work to create the chapters and artifacts you want to include in your self-portrait. Now is a good time to start thinking concretely about what files you will need to gather or create.

    • Begin to list and compile the materials you will need.

    Open Notebook