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Flip Video Cultural Exchange between students in Texas and New Zealand

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Keywords: Video, Culture, Metaphors, Compassion, Web 2.0, ENGLISH, ELA, Writing, Editing
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Earth Science, Writing, Technology, Science, Video
Grades 6 through 8
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: Clear Lake Intermediate, Houston, TX
Planned By: Virginia Finch
Original Author: Virginia Finch, Houston
• To create a video to be played on YouTube (or SchoolTube) which shows compassion for Christchurch students affected by the earthquake
• To write metaphors & find digital pictures to illustrate them
• To learn about the New Zealand earthquake disaster and how it compared to Houston's Hurricane Ike
• To gain proficiency in use of Flip Camera & exposure to video creating and editing software (Web 2.0 Tool - www.animoto.com & Camtasia)
• To follow an organized process of creating a video from storyboarding to a final project

• Make students aware of Christchurch Earthquake through discussion, videos, pictures and news accounts online. [We actually did this several times throughout the process]

• Send permission letters home for parental permission for students to be recorded and for the project to be shared via YouTube.

• Students free-write their memories and emotions associated with
Hurricane Ike.

• In small groups, students brainstorm what they would like to see in the video (including music). One note-taker per group to turn in notes at the end of group time.

• Students create metaphors about loss, hope, starting over, friendship and fear. They find or photograph pictures to illustrate each metaphor.

• Combine/Edit “Ike” free-writing and metaphors into a script. We did this as whole class activity, but it could be divided into small group projects.

• Storyboard the project using PowerPoint, discussing logical transitions from one thought to another- we did this as a class project. One slide was created for each speaker in the video. We included pictures needed for the video as well.

• Discuss proper citations for pictures found to illustrate metaphors & add to the powerpoint so that they are included in final video.

• Read through script together checking for complete thoughts, word usage, and smooth transitions from one line to the next.

• Discuss emotions, enunciation, etc. that are appropriate for this kind of project.

• Students practice lines in small groups and learn how to film each other with Flip Cameras. Emphasis is placed on how to use the Flip Cameras, attention to background noise, “framing the picture”, and consistency. Each student had 2 lines to be recorded. When ready, students video each other - always using the same background to add continuity to the project.

• The metaphor slides and picture citations slides from the storyboard PowerPoint were then saved as .jpgs so that we could create a movie from them using http://www.animoto.com.

• Rehearsing and recording of background music was left to the supervision of the band director (our students recorded a flute rendition of “Simple Gifts”

• We put the project together as a class, using Camtasia for video editing. The Animoto movie was dropped into Camtasia along with the student created Flip Videos. The students learned about PIP (picture in picture) as well as video file formats.

• The movie was published on YouTube and the link sent to all the schools of Christchurch; we obtained a special video release form from EVERY parent before publishing. This is especially important in a project like this one!

After uploading the movie to YouTube and sending the link to the Christchurch schools, we have received many replies from the schools. This has opened up a discourse across the Pacific and has excited and engaged our students far beyond our expectations! In one week we have had over 400 hits to the YouTube video and we are in the process of setting up a video conference with one of the schools in Christchurch at a later date.

The student engagement was exemplified by the eagerness of our students to want to make a similar video for Japan. Also, the students were so proud of their final product and eager every day to learn what new letters we received from Christchurch. The "authentic audience" was such an important part of this project. A great lesson that we will repeat with variations!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project can be done for many different purposes with a main goal of helping students to communicate with a global audience through a combination of technologies to create one product.

Comparisons between climates and cultures can be done to address both science and social studies standards. For example: create a video for students in another country or state about the similarities and differences between cultures & environment.

A good follow-up to this lesson could be an Internet Safety Unit.
Links: Link to Handouts for this Lesson
Link to "What is an Earthquake?"
Link to actual student video on YouTube
Link to "New York Times"
Link to Web 2.0 Video Editing Tool
Materials: Video Tools, Slideshow, Web Page, Word Processor, Projectors, Flip Video
Other Items: 10 Flip Video Cameras (1 per group of 2-3 students), $75.00 each, total of $750.00