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A Hip New Twist on the Past! Creating Music Video Biographies


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Keywords: music video, biography
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Reading, Music, Writing, Technology, Social Skills, Video, History
Grades 3 through 5
School: Mill Creek Elementary School, Statesboro, GA
Planned By: Dana Mattos
Original Author: Dana Mattos, Statesboro
The students will gather research from the internet and biographical books. They will collect facts and important information on a given American’s life. They will create a video showcasing the life and important events in this chosen historical figure's life. They will also act out an interview scenario as the famous person speaking to the reporter and use the flip camera to record. The flip cameras are very lightweight and easy for the students to do all of the recording. After gathering and synthesizing all information, they will then produce the video using Pinnacle Studio. This program is super easy for students to use. They can drag in pictures, music (downloaded to the ipod) or recorded voiceovers all in one window. Pinnacle Studio also includes a green screen which will allow the students to film in front of the screen and put in any background or location they chose. They will put all of their video footage and facts to music creating a multimedia music video. This lesson integrates many curricular areas by tying in language arts and research skills and reading with social studies content and technology skills.

Using newer methods of teaching combined with technology would allow these children to be involved in a new type of learning and experience things they have never worked with before. Students do tend to gain more knowledge and retain more skills when they are responsible for their own learning. Using some of the newer “gadgets” would be so exciting to these children. Music videos are extremely popular right now. How exciting would it be to create a music video on a historical figure? I would love to be able to give my students more exposure to technology and the experience of creating artistic projects.

Working together on this project will improve collaboration and decision making skills. Students will be able to combine ideas and express creativity. These materials can bring learning into the latest time periods relevant to them. Not only does it teach them research skills and factual information, but it also gives them real world skills they can use later in their educational careers. I hope to give my students an opportunity to experience this type of learning environment.

The project will take 3-4 weeks to complete.
Week 1:
Gathering Research (biographies)

Interviewing “Famous American” (video)
Week 2:
Synthesizing all information to create a storyboard (plan out events)

Relate video editing to the writing process (storyboard is comparable to rough draft)

Week 3-4:
Find music appropriate to video

Record Sound effects or other multimedia needed

Begin putting sounds and video clips into Pinnacle Software

Edit and finalize storyboard


The students will complete a performance survey at the end of the project. They will rate other group member’s participation and their overall experience. This personal student information will help develop follow up activities and will guide future instruction.

We will have a special premiere day. Parents and administrators will be invited to view the final projects. The students will walk the red carpet and introduce their videos to the class and visitors. The students will also share their final video biographies with other grade levels.


Cross-Curriculum Ideas
My educational philosophy revolves around the idea that children should be involved in the learning process. They gain more knowledge and retain more skills when they are responsible for their own learning. Students will stay busy and engaged while creating a biographical music video that includes facts, pictures and an interview with the famous person. Students will film, act and produce the video. This lesson is a great way to tie in history and research skills. This integration of subjects allows students to make connections and bring knowledge into a more modern context. By creating the video, learning can be more meaningful and motivational by using multimedia tools and resources.
Follow-Up
We will have a special premiere day. Parents and administrators will be invited to view the final projects. The students will walk the red carpet and introduce their videos to the class and visitors. The students will also share their final video biographies with other grade levels.
It is also important for parents to feel part of our schools and classrooms. Parents will be given invitations to attend and be involved in premiere day. Video premiere day will allow the parents to see the final product of their child’s work. This will offer a way for the parents to experience what the children have been working on in the classroom.
Materials: Batteries, Tripods, Flash/USB Drives, Camera/Video Accessories, CDs and DVDs, Video Tools, MP3 Players, Flip Video, Video Cameras, Authoring and Publishing
Other Items: 1 Pinnacle Studio Ultimate (with green screen), $130 each, total of $130.00
1 Ipod Touch, $279 each, total of $279.00
1 Flip Camera Deluxe Tripod, $15 each, total of $15.00
2 Flip Camera extra battery, $29 each, total of $58.00
2 Flip Cameras, $179 each, total of $358.00
1 DVD spindle 50 pack, $25 each, total of $25.00