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Why teach Jet Toys? (Tool Factory Movie Maker )

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Keywords: Force and Motion Commercials (Jet Toys)
Subject(s): Science, Writing, Technology
Grade 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Workman Elementary School, Canton, MI
Planned By: Jennifer Peltier
Original Author: Jennifer Peltier, Canton
A World In Motion – Jet Toys

Using Movie Maker software to create science commericals!

Jet Toy Summary – (http://www.awim.org/curriculum/jettoy/)
In the JetToy Challenge, a fictitious toy company called EarthToy Designs presents the challenge in the form of a letter. The company wants students to provide a variety of interesting designs for a new line of balloon-powered vehicles made from inexpensive, common materials that will appeal to other children. Working in design teams, students will build and test model JetToys using different nozzles, and collect and analyze data to understand the effect of nozzle size on the performance of the toys. They will create other designs and test them, then give a formal presentation of their final JetToy designs.

Materials - Groups will share
8 – Digital Cameras that include Video Recording or
4 – Cameras 4-Camcorders
30 – Computer Video Editing License (Windows Movie Maker – Free!)

Lesson Overview – Students will explain the importance of learning force and motion through Jet toys with the use of digital cameras and camcorders. Students will use their video and pictures to document their learning during the Jet Toy unit and compile data into a video software program to create a Jet Toy commercial!

Student Activities – Explain to students that not all schools are using Jet Toys to learn force and motion because some teachers feel that building chassis and testing are just “playing”. One of the most important roles of the daily observer will be documenting their groups daily progress with class cameras.

Data Gathering in the Classroom

Step 1: Discuss what would make good pictures and video. Have students brainstorm a list of ideas that would make strong persuasive pictures in a commercial. (Pictures building the car rather than a final product with your friends)

Step 2: Explain the role of the observer. The observer will change daily so that all students will have a change to capture film. The observer will take still photographs as well as video of their group working. During the daily clean up, the observer will be responsible for transfer pictures and video onto their group flash drive.

Step 3: Observers will continue to capture pictures and video during the new variable testing with weights and tube size.

Computer Lab Lessons

Step 1: Using Microsoft Office Picture Manager introduce the importance of photo editing. Students will crop and organize their pictures. They will weed out the pictures they will be using for their Jet toy commercial.

Step 2: Using a video editing software students will learn how to crop their video. They will learn how to crop, add audio, transitions, effects, word art and credits. Adding both pictures and video they will begin to create their Jet Toy commercials.

Step 3: Students will continue to work on their commercials knowing that it is their job to sell the idea of Jet toys to other schools who are not participating. It will be important for students to include the key vocabulary they have learned to truly show the importance of this program.

Students will present their videos to their peers! Class videos may also be posted online, with parent permission, to create a community connection and allow parents a way to view what students are learning in the classroom.


Using the Jet Toy commercials as a form of the student’s final assessment helps to reach the needs of all learners. It will force students to document what they have learned throughout the unit. Students are using a creative way to add the key vocabulary they have learned. They are also integrating what they have learned from persuasive writing, a 5th grade content expectation, by proving the importance of learning this way.
I have taught this lesson in the past and it gets better each year. The largest struggle is to accommodate all of the learners in my classroom. I currently make it work with a lot of sharing and I think it is a great way for my visual learners to connect to the classroom. Integrating technology is a way to make your already great lessons even better and creates stronger connections with students because they use these forms of technology daily!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
-Flip Cameras and Video Software could be used to recreate social studies through reenactments. This could also work for story retelling in reading comprehension. In writing cameras can be used for "story walks" where students become the behind camera story teller while walking through the halls or looking through a window!
-Present commercials on the live school news (celebrate published work)
-Present commericals to Johnson Controls (sponsoring company)
-Share with surounding school districts to sell the idea!
Links: A World In Motion - Jet Toy Program
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Video Tools, Point and Shoot, DVD Camcorder, Slideshow, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 Video Editing Software - Tool Factory Movie Maker Network Site License