Young students can’t podcast.
Young students can’t make movies.
etc. etc. etc.
The truth is they can.
But does this mean that we throw the idea of doing age-appropriate lessons out the window? No, of course not. We do not ask a second grader to blog the same way that we would ask a high school senior, but they both can blog.
When I first started to do movie making with my fourth and fifth grade students, many of my colleagues thought I was crazy. And perhaps I was, but I at least wanted to give it a try. So I started with the idea of how could I make movie making age-appropriate for my young students? And how could I do it with just a few pieces of inexpensive equipment? Since I knew nothing about movie making, I studied the Video Storytelling Guide on Atomic Learning. Now I knew about shots, audio, and filmmaking.
The next thing I did was to sit down with the students to get the outline for the movie. The students had been studying dramatic writing so they knew all about how to tell a good story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Since we knew the limitation of our equipment we decided on a few rules:
1) It had to be shot in the school. We had no money to go somewhere else to shoot. 2) Any dialogue would have to be done using a close-up shot so that our audio would be good. 3) All the shots would have to be simple, static shots. We would avoid panning or tilting the camera.
Soon we had our movie outline and script, so we were now able to start shooting. We broke the script down into a shot list and from there we started to shoot. One of the funny things that we didn’t see coming was that the actors had to remember to where the same clothes every Wednesday so that the shots would match.
Both the students and myself were amazed at how well the movie turned out.
Dude! Where’s my pencil? http://www.youtube.com/user/bethkeelementary#p/u/0/9TEBqs7kX2k