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Keywords: Video Editing, Video Journalism
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Information Skills, Journalism
Grades 7 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Rancho Milpitas Middle School, Milpitas, CA
Planned By: Larry Lavendel
Original Author: Larry Lavendel, Milpitas
In previous lessons students will have learned how to plan and research a story and then make a storyboard for sequencing their story. In groups of three to five students will have chosen a topic to report on around campus. These included:
• Covering a sports event.
• Showing how a school resource is run such as food service, attendance, discipline or counseling services.
• Reporting on a school event, such as a dance, faire, play, music concert, assembly or new school mural.
• Reporting on a school initiative such as a “pay-it-forward” campaign, no bully zones or homework club.

In this new lesson, they will come to class with sets of video clips shot about their topics. In this lesson we will cover how to enter them into Tool Factory Movie Maker and chop them and clip them, and then stitch them together using the canned transitions in the program.

As is the standard procedure in our class before the students can go to work at their workstations they congregate around the SmartBoard or large video monitor to see the presentation of the days lesson skills in there entirety. The students will get a handout of the simple storyboard that the teacher has prepared for the sample clips that will be used during the lesson sequence. The teacher will begin with a quick high-level tour of the Tool Factory Movie Maker program: identifying and describing the menus, resource palettes, preview and the timeline editing areas. The teacher will then show them how to attach their Flip-cameras to the computer via the USB port and import their clips into the Tool Factory Movie Maker program. Referring to the storyboard handout, the teacher will demonstrate how to place a clip on the editing timeline and to split it into sub-clips and trim off unwanted sections. Again following the storyboard, the demo will continue to show how to place a second clip in position on the timeline, how to reorder clips and to insert transitions between them.

Students will go back to their individual workstations and from the networked class materials folder get a copy of the materials that the teacher used for his demo: two short movie clips. The teacher will then guide them through the same procedure that he demoed in the first part of the lesson. Students will follow the step-by-step sequence and ask questions as the come up. On completion students will save their work in their networked turn-it-in folder; this movie project file will be used by the teacher to check for understanding and later by students as the next starting point for the next lesson in the sequence. The teacher will circulate between steps to answer individual questions, to help keep students on track and check for understanding.

In the final sequence of this lesson, which most likely will continue into the next day, students will meet in their project groups, download their video clips from their cameras and using their storyboards edit and assemble them using the Tool Factory Movie Maker program. The teacher will circulate to answer individual questions, to help keep students on track and check for understanding.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Ties to Language Arts and Social Studies are the most natural as writing scripts and interview questions will be integral parts of the unit. In general interviewing techniques, story telling, research and chronicling span the range of disciplines from language arts to social studies. Storyboarding, graphics, illustration and animation draw on the theories and techniques of the fine arts.
Themes and content inspired by or directly linked to curriculum and assignments in other classes such as Language Arts, Science and Social Studies will, when allowed, be made into video presentations.
The next lesson would cover the details and fine adjustments of working with movie clips. Followed by a lesson on adding still images (pictures and graphics) and titles to the film. In essence creating slide shows including transitions like the Ken Burns effect.
In later lessons we will learn about adding music tracks, creating voice-overs and audio track adjustments.
Materials: Whiteboards, Video Cameras, Flash Memory Camcorders, Flip Video, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Projectors, Short Throw Projectors, Networked Projectors, Auditorium, Projector Screens, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Video Tools, Hard Drives, Camera/Video Accessories, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Cables, Computer Accessories, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, Ports and Hubs, LCD Monitors, Mice, Flash/USB Drives, Writing, Office Suite, Word Processor, Authoring and Publishing, Clip Art, Animation, Internet Services, Student Resources