This week I was taking part in the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Twitter chat (#gafechat). The whole subject had to do with creating videos in the classroom. We discussed how this added to engagement, critical thinking skills, and collaboration.
A lot of people think that having students create videos is just an easy time-filler, but I am here to tell you that with proper planning, this can turn into an activity that boosts learning and really makes students think.
I like to think of video creation as the publishing part of a writing piece. Script writing is another genre of writing that needs instruction and modeling to ensure it is done correctly.
ReadWriteThink has a great unit for 6-8 on Filmmaking. It is important to teach students the vocabulary of making films. There are a lot of terms specific to filming.
Have students plan what their idea is and plan the story. Many films are adapted from great books. They have to write a story to know what direction their film is going. Then they can adapt their stories to scripts, and finally into storyboards. The storyboards are like comic books. You want the students to put their actors where they should stand, give ideas for how long they should be on camera, and what lines should be said, During this time, the actors should be learning their lines, people in charge of the cameras should be learning how to get the best camera shots, different angles, zooming in and out, etc.
After students go through and create their storyboards, they should start filming. They may want to do a walk-through before filming to make sure bodies are turned correctly at the camera, their voices are heard, and any other parts they need to include. Then the filming starts. A good filmmaker is always editing and revising their storyboard and scripts, even as the camera is rolling.
When the filming is done, the fun of editing comes into play. Students can then piece together their film, manipulate sound, video quality, and transitions. Again, this is a lesson on vocabulary, critical thinking, collaboration, and patience. It can take a lot of patience to learn video editing software.
At the end, students can debute their video masterpiece. Let them have a wonderful movie premier, making a big deal out of it. Roll out the red carpet, get the popcorn, and sit back to enjoy!
Check out the ReadWriteThink unit here!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom