It's exciting, Collaborative and most of all it's FUN!
Making movies in your class is the most magical way to bring your learning themes alive! If you're in any way creative and a just a touch tech savvy then this is the way to go! It is the best way to extend learning in your class and will be a hit with the children, parents and your whole school community... and you probably have all you need to start creating movies today at your fingertips! (literally)
It's integrated learning at it's best...
When you're making a movie with your class you are developing a whole range of skills from every corner of the curriculum. It also offers the perfect opportunity to enhance the children's ability to write creatively. Making your own scripts or rewriting your version of a popular story. The opportunities for making a movie with your class are endless!
Here's all you need to get started:
Audio Recording software: Most phones will offer a some sort of recording device. I use the 'Voice Memos' app on my phone
What works well is to stop and start your recording. I will pause the recording, say a sentence, press play again and the child will repeat it. This works well with infants.
Computer or phone: Obviously you will need a computer to do your editing on or a mobile phone.
Video editing software: I use i-movies my Mac but if you have an i-phone you can download the app onto your phone for basic editing software. You can also find various free editing software downloads on the internet but make sure you do your research before downloading anything from the web.
Props or a stage: Depending on what kind of video you want to make and what your theme or learning objective is you may choose any of the following.
A Tripod: If you want you can use a tripod, but I don't have one and will often prop my phone up on books and balance it if I need too.
A Vimeo account: Once my videos are edited and ready to go live I publish them to my Vimeo account. It's free, child friendly and safe for teachers and children to use. You can set up an account here.
Making The movie:
I always link to what I'm learning about. So it might simply be recording your class act out a role-play situation so that they can look back at it to help give children ideas how to role-play in their Aistear. In which case you can "Role it there Rosin" from start to finish and little or no editing will be needed. Here's some Role-play I recorded a few years back.
Sometimes making a video is the perfect way to cover your genre objectives. I often use videos to help the children retell a focus story like in the Story movies above. Or why not make you very own cookery show to practice those procedural writing skills. Record a NEWS FLASH to practice recount. Take a few photos of a child's drawing of a winter robin and record the child giving a report about Robins. In the video below the child is giving a review of their Aister creation, our theme was transport.
Gathering ideas as a whole class
Whatever you decide to make a video about have the whole class plan and develop the plot together. Discuss characters, props and storyline. Make a simple storyboard. You can get your free copy of the template below here. Don't be afraid to redraft and edit throughout the whole process. Even the finished video may need a little twiking before you publish it.
Shared writing of a script
For the video above I just read the story. But depending on your theme you could write a simple script together. I found the cutest Little Red Hen script here for free!
Practicing and rehearsal
Set a stage and have a few rehearsals. Identify what does not work and try it again. Let children listen back to themselves as they will often not realise if they are slurring their words so letting them hear themselves will have them articulation like Julie Andrews in no time!
The benefits of making a movie...
Language - For me, making videos is very much about developing good language skills and articulation. Having the children listen back to their own speech is extremely beneficial in their language development. The two videos at the top of this post were taken about 9 months apart and the language development of the children is very evident.
Sharing with parents - Sharing an insight to their child's school life is invaluable to parents. The gratitude I receive from parents who enjoy my class videos over on my class blog makes all the effort worth while. It also offers an extra incentive to the children to try their best and make their grown-ups proud and of course be proud of themselves.
Hard work pays off! - Most of the time a lot of work and effort will go on behind the scenes of a movie and the children have to learn patience and perseverance. They learn that a finished product is often well worth they hard work put in.
Keep sakes - Without question these are the greatest keep sakes for children and their families. While most of the year long I have my videos protected by not being downloadable. I will make them downloadable for a certain period of time and let the parents know.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found something that might inspire you to give movie making a try in your classroom! If you would like to see more of my class videos visit me over on my Vimeo account today. Follow me over on Facebook and Instagram where I lost fun and playful teaching ideas daily! Subscribe to InfantEducation here.