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Creative Book Report using Flip Cameras and Jaycut.com

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Keywords: Flip camera, Reading, Book Report, Digital Camera, Group Work, Technology
Subject(s): Video, Animation, Reading, Photography
Grades 6 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: Pulaski Cmty Middle School, Pulaski, WI
Planned By: Tina Mills
Original Author: Tina Mills, Pulaski
Throughout the year, I spend a lot of time having my students work in literature circles, where they work with 4-6 people reading the same book. When they are finished reading, I have them present their book to the rest of the class. Getting students excited about this can often be a very difficult thing to do. That is why I have come up with many creative ways to do book reports; this is one example.

First have students make a list of the main characters, main settings and all of the important events from each chapter. They will need to find pictures to represent each character and setting by either going on-line or taking them with a digital camera, and then saving them into a folder labeled “Pictures”

The second thing they need to do is pick 10 main events that happened throughout the book. They will need to choose 3 or 4 of these events to act out using props, the rest of the events can be represented through pictures, which again they can find on-line or take them digitally. These pictures should be saved in a folder labeled “Pictures-events.”

When students act out their scene, they will need to record it using a flip camera and also do it with a solid color background behind them; this will give it the “green screen effect” and when uploaded to www.jaycut.com students will be able to put a picture behind their video which gives the effect that they are actually at that specific place. Remind students to be loud when they are recording and to only record against the solid color background, otherwise the picture will be distorted when played together. All videos should be saved in a folder labeled “Videos”

Next, students will need to find pictures to go behind their video. They can take these pictures digitally or find them on-line. These pictures should also be saved in the “Videos” since they are to be used with the videos.

Students are now ready to work in www.jaycut.com. They need to create an account and create a movie. First, they need to upload all of their pictures and videos and then they need to organize them in sequential order. The movie sequence should start with text stating the title and author of the book, the main characters, settings, the events in sequential order and last another text stating who the movie was created by.

After all media is organized, students should use the audio option to record over the main character, setting, and other event pictures so that the audience can understand what each of these pictures represents.

The final project will be a video that students can play for the rest of the class. The video will show and tell the main characters, settings, and events of the book they just read.

Overall, students should thoroughly enjoy this activity. It uses many forms of technology: digital cameras, flip cameras, on-line images and websites. It may take some time but the results in the end are worth it!
Great activity that incorporates a variety of technology. Students very engaged in their learning.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
You could incorporate this into any curriculum or do this as a class instead of small groups.
Links: Link to Jaycut
Materials: Mobile Labs, Flip Video, Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Hard Drives, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, Web Page