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Interactive Rainforest Animals


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Keywords: Rainforest, Video, Animals, Puppets, English, Chroma-key, Life Science
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Life Science, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Biology, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Journalism, Drama
Grades 4 through 6
School: Terry Taylor Elementary School, Spencerport, NY
Planned By: Kenneth Rhodes
Original Author: Kenneth Rhodes, Spencerport
This lesson is a project that I am currently doing as a part of an interdisciplinary concert called Beyond The Rainforest.

Students will first select a research using internet and traditional resources, a rainforest animal of their choice. They will study its habitat, survival strategies, and basic life facts and create a small "first person" essay describing the animal in detail.

Then, students create a working puppet of their rainforest animal, with parental help if chosen (I believe it is so important for parents and children to get to work together on projects like this). The puppet is completed and students use the puppets to read their first person essay.

The final piece of the project involves chromakey video. Students will operate their puppet infront of a blue or green painted screen and the puppet will be reading the first person essay. Behind the animal, will be images that correspond best with their animal as found on open image databanks such as pics4learning.com. Using my personal camcorder and laptop, I edit the videos, and then they are put on our webpage and also placed on a dvd for viewing on the big screen at our concert performance.

Students view each others rainforest puppet videos and then will do a post assessment to gauge student learnings and understandings.
Comments
Currently, I provide the technological materials for this project from my own equipment however, there is a great interest in doing more of these projects in our school and I am certain that once each students video is on our webspace, more students will look to engage in a like project through our enrichment clusters and school wide enrichment time.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Student videos used as living science textbooks for classrooms.
Follow-Up
An online blog attached to our main webpage to highlight the process of making the project videos.
Links: Link to Taylor Elementary Band Page
Link to Taylor School Mulitmedia Page
Link to Taylor School Technology Corner
Materials: Video Cameras, Hi-Def Camcorder, Projector Screens, Microphones, DVD/VCR Players, Art Tools, Video Tools, CDs and DVDs, Tripods, Batteries, Flash/USB Drives, Writing, Books, Screen Capture, Student Resources, Assessment, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 studio spotlight, $unknown each
1 Green Screen for video, $unknown each