the best of qualities is dispassion

Digital Story Response No. 7: “Nanna’s House” and “Grandma’s Roof”

Poetry, written and performed by 7th graders is used to narrate these digital stories. This one digital story actually contains two which are packaged serially and labeled “7th Grade Poetry.” This film is a fine example of collaboration and creative cooperation, as even the transcript is simply titled “Nana’s House,’ which applies to both stories. The warmth, welcome, peace, and love that Abigail and Victoria experience when they visit Nana’s house is a theme which runs throughout the stories. The poems describe how their visits enliven their senses and encourage the dreams and hope of childhood. The first, “Nanna’s House,” emphasizes physical sensations, whereas the second, “Grandma’s Roof,” is more focused on the dreams and fantasies of her father’s childhood.

The takeaway for me is that some children do indeed realize that the love and nurturing provided by healthy parenting is invaluable. These girls, not only realize this but invest the time and effort required to pay tribute to it through their digital storytelling. Not the often seen childhood perspective and portrayal of parent as hero, or god, but instead a much more “sophisticated,” flowing, acknowledgment and appreciation.


The students used images creatively to tell their stories and the images that were chosen very nicely entwine with the young narrators’ poetry and voices. The images are flawlessly synchronized to the lines and together present very warm digital stories. Some of the transitions are a bit lively but I feel this is due to the creativity of youth. Their project was well planned and the complete transcript provided in the YouTube description offers some proof of this. I also enjoyed the poetry as narrative and will further investigate using this device in digital storytelling. It appears that this digital story was produced using PowerPoint or some other presentation application and the creators had a good command of the media. These somewhat short digital stories were crafted with care and I appreciate their effort.

1 thought on “Digital Story Response No. 7: “Nanna’s House” and “Grandma’s Roof””

  • Hello Robert,

    It is always with a lot of joy that I listen to praise-songs and poetry to grandparents. Malian writer and ethnologist Amadou Hampâté Bâ said that “when an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.” Maybe he was referring to the knowledge transmission from generation to generation, but I think it goes far beyond that. In the African culture old people are revered and they are known to be the ones pampering and spoiling their grandkids. Sometimes the parents do not dare discipline the children in front of grandma. I learned when I started living here that the relationship between grandparents and grandkids in the US is somewhat similar to what I grew up seeing. When I first came to the US as an exchange scholar, I stayed with a family in Michigan and saw first hand how my host took very good care of the grandkids anytime they come over.

    I think your critique of the product is very fair and that the students deserve to be applauded for this excellent work. They were very creative and I really enjoyed watching the video.

    Thanks for sharing the story.


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