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Don't Laugh At Me

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Keywords: Flip Video, PowerPoint, Bullying, Green Screen
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Technology, Reading
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Broad Brook Elementary School, Broad Brook, CT
Planned By: Tracy Mercier
Original Author: Tracy Mercier, Broad Brook
The weather had grown unbearably warm, and the peer relationships in the classroom were becoming quite strained. Name calling was occurring at an increasing rate. People were maliciously laughing at otherís mistakes. My co-teacher and I knew that it had to be addressed and decided to inspire the children with a group project based upon music and literature. It was our intention that they text and lyrics would reestablish the empathy that had present only the week before while integrating the use of Flip video cameras and green screen technology.

The children participated in an Interactive Read Aloud of the book Donít Laugh At Me. During the read aloud, the children turned and talked to their partners about connections they had to what was happening in the book. For example, when the book spoke of the little boy on the playground that got teased, the children shared their own experiences of being teased. They also jotted reactions to the text in their notebooks; when the homeless man was mentioned in the book they wrote their thoughts about the man being ridiculed.

The children began by choosing one of the connections they made while talking to their partners or jotting in their notebooks. They crafted the connection so that there was a direct correlation between the text and their life. For instance, one child referred to the part in the text when the little boy in glasses was called a geek. She said that it reminded her of when she was called a geek and how that had hurt her feelings. She was connecting on a the level that the author had intended, empathy for others.

After working their connections, the children chose how to publish it; video or text. Those who chose video were required to memorize their connection, and speak directly to the Flip camera with a clear loud voice. It is evident in the video that the children not only did that, but also spoke with sincere emotion. The childrenís heart-felt connections begin the music video. Long before the song starts the viewer is invested in the displayed emotions.

After participating in the Read Aloud the children listened to the song that the book is based on. The song incited a deeper reaction to the text, moving the children to think about what the world would be like if people were kind to each other. They wrote their thoughts to this, with marker, on paper and prepared to share it on video. Standing in front of the green screen, the children solemnly held their message for the audience to read. For this part of the video the children needed to search the Internet for an image that they felt portrayed their thoughts. This image was then inserted behind the children using green screen editing software.

Once the recording was completed with the Flip video cameras, and the green screen edited it was time to add the music. After the recorded connections were done playing, the song ĎDonít Laugh At Meí began. Typed connections scrolled across the screen and then the childrenís green screened reactions while the song played. Once complete, we viewed it as a class and decided that we would premiere it on our Authorís Day with friends and family present. Copies were made to be distributed at the close of the event as well. It was a proud moment for the children as they played their video for their friends and family and noticed many tears.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This could also be used in conjunction with Social Studies and helping the children to think globally about issues such as war and genocide.
Links: Link to uploaded video on SchoolTube
Materials: Flip Video, Tripods, Batteries, CDs and DVDs, Cables, Reading, Books, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 Green screen sheet, $200.00 each, total of $200.00
1 green screen video editing software,, $200.00 each, total of $200.00