During the week of July 25-28 I taught a summer school class at Springfield Elementary called “Lights, Camera, Action!” I had rising 4th and 5th graders and our goal was to create educational videos for teachers to use in their classrooms about different famous people. Students chose to work with a partner or solo, and they selected a famous person to research. They created all the parts of the video themselves, including the animations and music, using software on the computer (Photo Booth for the interview/green screen, Keynote for animations, Google Earth for satellite imagery, and iMovie for video editing) as well as web tools (SitePal for voiceovers, Aviary Education for soundtracks, Screencast-O-Matic for recording, and Blabberize for the “talking heads”). You can see my sample below and take a look at all the student samples on this website. Be sure to leave a comment on the videos to let my summer school students know what you think of their projects!
All the second grade students at Pinchbeck Elementary have worked hard on their American Indian projects so they wanted a special way to share what they have done. Each teacher took photos of their students’ projects and we used them as backgrounds in Photo Booth. Then with their project behind them, each child read a line from a script that told one important fact about the tribe. I edited the videos in iMovie and added a soundtrack from Freeplay Music. So when all the videos were put together, it made a fun and informative study guide for the American Indian Tribes (SOL 2.4). You can take a look at a sample from Ms. King’s class about the Pueblo Tribe here.
Today, Mrs. Favale’s 1st grade class at Holladay Elementary made force and motion movies with me. She assigned each of them a concept from SOL 1.2. The students thought of a way to demonstrate the concept and I filmed them. We had students showing pushes, pulls, circular motion, back and forth motion, vibration, and friction. Once the filming was done, I edited it in iMovie. For older students, iMovie is a great program for making quick simple movies, but for first graders, the teacher may need to do most of the work since it can be a little complicated. After editing the video, the last step was to add the music. You can find copyright free music for video projects like this on Freeplay Music. The song I used was called “Building Blocks Underscore.” You can see the final movie by clicking here. If you’d like to do a video project with your class, please feel free to ask me for help. That’s what I’m here for!
This week I haven’t been in my schools much because I’ve been doing VGLA scoring. However, some students at Holladay Elementary have been saving their Hawks tickets to earn a special VIP technology lesson as part of their school-wide behavior incentive. So I showed them how to create Mother’s Day videos using Pixie and iMovie. First they recorded themselves giving their moms a loving message. Then they drew a picture for their moms using Pixie. We exported it as a JPG file and brought it into iMovie so the picture showed up after their video. Finally they chose a soundtrack to accompany the video. I burned each movie to a DVD so their moms could view their special gift on a DVD player instead of on a computer. However, the DVD also included a digital copy of the movie and picture so they could post them to Facebook or email them to family members if they wanted. I don’t have any examples of these projects to share with you, but I do have an example I did a while ago with a kindergarten class at Crestview Elementary. It’s the same basic idea, except all the students were in the video instead of individual students like the ones we did this year.
Tomorrow is Earth Day and Mrs. Hancock’s first grade class at Laburnum Elementary made very cool Earth Day public announcement videos using PhotoBooth backgrounds. I gave them a folder of pictures to use that you can download by clicking here. They chose the backgrounds they wanted and then recorded as many videos as they could. Some of them made quite a few. I can tell they really listened to Mrs. Hancock because they knew what they were talking about, and they used all the right vocabulary words: reduce, reuse, and recycle. I gathered some of their videos together into an iMovie that you can watch here. I think you’ll agree with me that Earth Day has a future spokeswoman with young Ke’Asiah. I did this same project with first graders at Chamberlayne Elementary last year. If you’d like to see their video as well, click here. Maybe next year you could try this with your class!
Third graders at Laburnum have been studying simple machines (SOL 3.2) so they created Pixie projects to show off what they have learned. If you click here you can see a sample, and if you click here you can download the template to get your started. First we created Word Art (the directions are on the template), then we found Stickers of the simple machines (go to the Science folder, then to the Simple Machines folder). Next the students took their picture and drew their bodies. Finally they recorded an audio voiceover identifying the machines. There are many other project ideas you could do. Using photos of the machines (click here to download it) you can create a ComicLife or an iMovie. There are lots of cool websites on simple machines for your students to explore, and I’ve tried to gather them all together on this webpage. Don’t forget to check out the Trekkers’ simple machines from the past activity. Go ahead and have fun with your simple machines unit!
The Civil War is a new SOL for 4th grade this year, and I’d be happy to help you with ideas and resources. One 4th grade class made Civil War iMovies. Using the same folder of pictures that you can download on this post, students selected a topic and created an iMovie by combining the pictures with a video they recorded of themselves introducing the topic. Then they added transitions and text, and finally they selected a soundtrack to go along with it from the media tab. I exported them as QuickTime videos so they could be posted online. We did all of this in just one hour! Take a look at a couple of student samples: Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln. One of the problems with iMovie is that the projects are saved to the computer’s hard drive instead of to the students’ folders. So that exporting step is important if you want to save them to the students’ folders. Otherwise, you could avoid this problem by doing a similar project in GarageBand. It wouldn’t have the video, but it would still have the pictures, voice, and soundtrack. You can download a GarageBand template to use by clicking here.
Fourth graders in Ms. Norris’ class at Laburnum Elementary have been working hard creating puppets and scripts for some very cool videos we created today. They had everything ready ahead of time, so when I arrived we got right to work on the movies. Each student recorded his or her own video in iMovie (just click the video camera button on the far left side of the window and press “Capture”). They asked their puppet a series of questions just like an interviewer on a news show. Then their puppet replied! After they had recorded the video, they added text using the T button over on the right side of the window. Finally we exported them as QuickTime videos for posting online. Take a look at some student samples:
1. Sherman interviews Arthur Ashe
2. Dehvon interviews Benjamin Franklin
3. Destiny interviews Rosa Parks
4. Dante interviews Robert E. Lee (and gets attacked by him!)
More snow this week! We were off Monday, Wednesday, and had a 2 hour delay today! So I missed teaching this lesson, but I figured I would post it anyway since some of you might like to try it. I was supposed to teach a fourth grade class about the phases of the moon. I created a website with animations and games that you can check out by clicking here. The site also shows the current phase of the moon and includes links to other fun websites. After reviewing the phases with the websites, the students were going to complete a Keynote about the phases of the moon. You can take a look at a sample here and download the template by clicking here. If you’ve had enough of Keynotes, I also have a Kidspiration activity that you can download by clicking here (take a look at it here). Finally if your students need a quick review of SOL 4.7 (earth, sun, moon, astronomers) they can watch this movie I put together in iMovie… maybe they will be inspired to make their own!
Fifth grade students at Laburnum have been studying the Civil War in Social Studies, and they’ve been studying facts and opinions in Language Arts, so we decided to combine the two topics into one iMovie project today. I gave them a huge (30MB) folder of all sorts of Civil War pictures for them to choose from. You can download the folder of pictures by clicking this link. The students chose two pictures and came up with a fact about one and an opinion about the other. Then they imported the pictures into iMovie and added the text “Fact or Opinion” to each picture. Next they used the voiceover button to record their fact and opinion statements about each picture. Finally they used the video button to film themselves saying, “That is a fact!” or “That is an opinion!” and put their movie together by dragging the different components to the correct place. It was a great review of what they have learned and it also gave them practice using iMovie. You can see some student samples by clicking here and here.