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The Next DIY Stars

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Keywords: writing, following directions, podcasting, video
Subject(s): Video, Podcasting, Writing, Information Skills, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 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: Winding Creek Elem School, Stafford, VA
Planned By: Tracy Doyle
Original Author: Tracy Doyle, Stafford
Depending on age group, weeklong project working 1-2 hours per day or can be extended to two weeks with less time each day.

Grades 3-8

The students will:
-Create a list of what good direction writing should have
-Write a script of directions
-Make a movie, speaking clearly and demonstrating directions written
-Edit a movie

Day 1
Introduction: Explain the importance of good directions in one's writing.
Show students several good and bad examples of directions on video, use many examples of kids their own age to help them connect to the videos.

These are great videos for my age group 8-9, they are on YouTube, so pasting an embedded link into a PowerPoint would be helpful so you do not get commercials or posted text that might not be appropriate for your age group of students.
Example Videos: (All have good and bad aspects that the students can learn from)

a list with the students of what parts of the movies they liked and are important to have in a directional movie (i.e. what materials are needed, if an adult should help, clear step by step directions, typed words to reinforce ingredients or what to do).

Use this to create a rubric with the students that will be used later to grade their final results.
Put students in group of three to four and have them brainstorm what they know a lot about and could make a "how to" video on or allow time to research ideas on the internet or library if need be. If you have access to craft books in your classroom, this would also be a great resource.

Day 2
Have students choose their idea and begin writing their scripts. All students should
take part in writing the script. Rotate through groups asking questions about projects. If a group seems to be missing key steps, ask questions to guide students to fix mistakes on own.
Homework - finish up script and practice lines if needed.

Day 3
Choose rolls for filming, if not already done so, (actors and crew) and
begin filming.

Day 4 - Teach students (if they are not already familiar with Tool Factory Movie Maker) the software with some sample clips. Give time to edit their movies.

Day 5 - Celebrate with popcorn and share movies with class. If parents give permission, post movies as a podcast on your class webpage.

Students love to teach each other and share what they know. This activity plays on their love of sharing and technology. It also gets them to add details and give clear instructions in their writing!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This assignment could also be used also for science demonstrations for students to teach experiments and give information on what those experiments teach.
Have students rate each otherís videos based on rubric created or rate themselves for
teaching important self evaluation skills.
Links: Links to YouTube - see examples in plans
Materials: Flip Video, Tripods, Video Tools
Other Items: 1 Tool Factory Movie Maker, $69.95 each, total of $69.95
3 Flip UltraHDô 1 Hour Video Camera 2-for-1, $150.00 each, total of $450.00