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Telling the Story of America: Digital Storytelling Projects in American Literature



Huff, Dana. “Telling the Story of America: Digital Storytelling Projects in American Literature.” English Journal, vol. 106 no. 3, 2017, pp.32-37.

(The article is freely available through this link)


This redesign of this American Literature curriculum zeroes in on how we define “American,” its literature, and the American Dream, while remixing different media to tell stories. Students in Dana Huff’s high school class draw connections among digital stories from forms such as This American Life episodes to canonical works like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. They examine and analyze digital storytelling while learning to listen, discuss, and then write about their own experiences based on storytelling techniques and the expansion of American literature.

Classroom Application

Educators may find Huff’s detailed journey and methods for remixing the traditional American literature course to infuse digital storytelling and analysis the most helpful. She shares how students move from reading, discussing, and analyzing stories to actually creating their own stories through digital modes. She describes how students begin with several ideas of their own through a writing workshop atmosphere where they narrow choices, write drafts, conference, and troubleshoot issues with the different technologies available.