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Filming a Field Trip (Documentaries by Students for Students)

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Keywords: ART, Documentary, Film, Information Skills, ENGLISH, SCIENCE, Field Trip, SOCIAL STUDIES, MUSIC
Subject(s): Drama, Journalism, Science, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Home Economics, Biology, Information Skills, Earth Science, Reading, Music, Life Science, Geography, Technology, Social Skills, Video, Health and PE, Art, Civics, Speech and Language, Chemistry, Physics, History
Grades K through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Chester Cmty Charter Sch, Chester, PA
Planned By: Kristin Hubbard
Original Author: Kristin Hubbard, Chester
Subject Area: Cross Curricular

Materials/Resources Needed:
FLIP Video Camera(s), FLIP Share Software, computer with USB port, and information needed to obtain permission/transportation/funding to go on the field trip.

Anticipatory Set:
Students will be prepped by their teacher on the subject matter relevant to the field trip. Example: A field trip to Philadelphia would require prior knowledge of landmarks such as the Liberty Bell and the history of Independence Hall & the Declaration of Independence before the trip.

Students will build on their prior knowledge skills to create an informative documentary of real-world exploration of a specific subject matter.

Students will require an introductory course on the functions of the FLIP Video Camera prior to use. The power button is located on the upper right side of the video camera. The red button begins and stops recording. The + and – buttons zoom in and out. The < and > arrows allow the user to toggle back and forth between clips. The play button allows playback of footage. And the trashcan symbol deletes unwanted clips.

Activity: Students will work in collaborative groups to find information pertaining to their trip, such as landmarks, signs, documents, tour guides/information centers and descriptive markers. They will then take turns filming each other explaining/reading these important visuals/facts while being recorded using the FLIP video camera(s).

Follow-Up: Students will upload their FLIP footage into a computer via USB port. They will then use the FLIP Share Software to edit each clip to desired length and make still photographs. When editing is complete, the clips can be combined to create a movie documenting the trip and the information that was learned. The movie/documentary can then be shared via e-mail within FLIP Share Software, or exported to the computer’s desktop to be converted to a DVD.

Assessment: Students will be assessed on their ability to document important key facts/concepts through the use of FLIP video cameras. In order to measure this ability, students will share their documentary with other grades/classes/teachers to determine the effectiveness of their work.
I have used this lesson with second and fourth graders this year. They actually learned more from these "documentary" field trips because they were looking for important facts and information to teach others, when in fact, they were teaching themselves!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students can use this lesson plan to film demonstrations, oral presentations, or any special event! Also, the still picture option from FLIP Share Software can be used to create slideshows of people and places for real-world teaching tools.
Teachers can use the documentary created by the students to teach future classes the material/concepts learned. Also, the movie can be utilized as a virtual field trip for learning.
Links: Link to FLIP Support
Link to FLIP Video Camera Site
Materials: Ports and Hubs, Keyboards, Power, CDs and DVDs, DVD/VCR Players, Flip Video, Video Cameras, LCD Monitors, Mice, Internet Services