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"In Three Words"

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Keywords: Flip Video, Anti-bullying, Public Service Announcement (PSA), collaborative learning
Subject(s): Health and PE, Video, Social Skills, Technology, English/Language Arts
Grades 5 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Brigantine North Middle School, Brigantine, NJ
Planned By: Melissa Knoff
Original Author: Melissa Knoff, Brigantine
Introduction: Less is more. Utilizing this theory as well as the Good Morning America segment “Your Three Words” where viewers send in short video clips describing an event in their lives as a guide, students will create an anti-bullying video using the technology of Flip video cameras and Animoto. Anti-bullying campaigns are at the forefront of educational policy in our country. Many schools have adopted formal anti-bullying programs. This lesson allows students to take an active role in the development of an anti-bullying lesson thus taking ownership of the message. In addition, studies have found that students are more engaged when their peers are teaching the lesson. This lesson combines technology, student-centered activities, and student-created materials to teach their peers about bullying and its repercussions.

Objective: The students will utilize Flip video cameras and Animoto to write, film, edit and publish an anti-bullying video with messages of only three words.

Materials: Computer (internet), Flip video camera(s), printer, white printer paper, interactive white board

Day One (One class period): The teacher will use Good Morning America “Your Three Words” segments as an example and introduction to the lesson. The teacher will show the class some examples from YouTube of previous Good Morning America “Your Three Words” segments. When finished viewing, the teacher will guide the class in a discussion of the clips shown focusing on the power of brevity. The teacher will write “Less is More” on the board and ask the students to free-write about their feelings toward that statement as they relate to the videos .The students will share their responses and discuss. Following the discussion, the teacher will tell the students about the project: they are to take their knowledge from previous anti-bullying lessons and create a powerful message using “Three Words”. The teacher will divide the class into cooperative groups (I use equity sticks to choose group members). Each group will have the remainder of the class period to discuss the three words they will choose to use in the anti-bullying video. They will storyboard the scene they will film and turn it in to the teacher.

Day Two (One Class Period) - Students will type their three words on three separate pages and print them in a large, bold, font so they can be seen on the video. They will film their segment and plug their Flip Cameras into the computer, saving their videos.

Day Three (One Class Period) - Using an interactive white board, the teacher will walk the students through the free web 2.0 tool, Animoto. Animoto is used to create short slide shows or movies set to music. The teacher will show a sample video and explain to students how to upload their images from the Flip cameras, how to upload still images, as well as how to save Microsoft Powerpoint slides as jpegs in order to create title slides. The students will have the remainder of the class period to work on the video. Each group will take turns uploading their video to Animoto. While the other groups are at a computer creating uploading their video, the others are researching quotes, pictures, or sayings that will accompany their video. Each group will create their still slide in Microsoft Powerpoint and save it as a jpeg to be uploaded to the video.

Day Four (One Class Period): Class will watch their video on the interactive white board and discuss any corrections or editing that needs to be made. The teacher will select an editor(s) to come up and make any necessary corrections. When the video is finished, students will write a reflection paper about the experience as well as the final product. The link may be emailed to other teachers in the district to share with their students as a bullying lesson or, in our case, broadcast on the school-wide television network.

This lesson was a huge success in my district. It was a great way to integrate technology and creativity into a difficult topic to teach: bullying. In their reflection papers, my students commented that, "It was fun to use my own Flip Camera for school work," and "I learned a lot of lessons about treating people with respect and I hope others who watched the video did too." We are fortunate in our district to have a TV studio that can air broadcasts to all grade levels. Our elementary school watched our video as well and the response from their teachers was overwhelmingly positive! It is a great way to teach an important lesson in a fun and captivating way.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson can easily be adapted to fit any subject area. Math teachers could have students film a short, three word tutorial on a problem. History students can research a particular historical event, dress in the costume of the time, and write a three word summary of the event. Health teachers can assign anti-drug or anti-violence three word PSA's. The possibilities are endless!!
*Broadcasting the video on a school-wide network.
*emailing the link to the video for teachers to share with their individual classes as a bullying lesson
*Students can write reflection papers in response to the process of creating the video as well as the lessons learned
*Students can write anti-bullying poems using three word lines
*posting the video to a school's website or to SchoolTube
Links: "Link to video on SchoolTube"
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Printers, Power, Keyboards, Mice, Word Processor