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Inspirational Essay: Video

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Keywords: Writing Research
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar
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: Jake L Meachum Jr High School, Millington, MI
Planned By: Michelle Jaruzel
Original Author: Michelle Jaruzel, Millington
Title : Inspirational Essay: Video

Overview :
Students will create an inspirational movie using both video and text. Partners will choose a famous person who has inspired them. Using quotes and filmed clips, students will create a video detailing how and why this person inspired them. The video needs to be at least two minute long and should include clips, quotes, and music.

Goal(s) :

1. Pupils will create an inspirational movie containing the following aspects: quotes, filmed clips and details of how and why they chose this person.
2. Pupils will present their movie to the class and a 5th grade class.
Standards : Standards:
W.GN.06.01 write a cohesive narrative piece such as a personal narrative, adventure, tall tale, folktale, fantasy, or poetry that includes appropriate conventions to the genre, employing elements of characterization for major and minor characters; internal and/or external conflict; and issues of plot, theme, and imagery.
W.PR.06.01 set a purpose, consider audience, and replicate authors’ styles and patterns when writing a narrative or informational piece.
W.PR.06.02 apply a variety of pre-writing strategies for both narrative (e.g., graphic organizers designed to develop a plot that includes major and minor characters, builds climax, and uses dialogue to enhance a theme) and informational writing (e.g., problem/
solution or sequence).
W.PR.06.04 draft focused ideas for a specific purpose using multiple paragraphs, sentence variety, and voice to meet the needs of an audience (e.g., word choice, level of formality, and use of example) when writing compositions.
W.PR.06.05 proofread and edit writing using grade-level checklists and other appropriate resources both individually and in groups.
W.PS.06.01 exhibit personal style and voice to enhance the written message in both narrative (e.g., personification, humor, element of surprise) and informational writing (e.g., emotional appeal, strong opinion, credible support).
Technology Standards
6-8.CI.1. apply common software features (e.g., spellchecker, thesaurus, formulas, charts, graphics, sounds) to enhance communication with an audience and to support creativity
6-8.CI.2. create an original project (e.g., presentation, web page, newsletter, information brochure) using a variety of media (e.g., animations, graphs, charts, audio, graphics, video) to present content information to an audience

Objectives :

1. Pupil will understand context, role, audience, format, topic and strong verb.
2. Pupil will understand how to use the writing-to-learn strategy: Inquiry chart.
3. Pupil will write the essay using research methods. The essay will be at least three paragraphs and not exceed five. The essay will be turned in separate from the video clip. The first paragraph will present facts only. The second paragraph will be a mixture of fact and opinion. The remaining paragraph(s) will be fact.
4. Pupil will interview each other with prearranged questions asking each other why they chose that person and how they have inspired them. This will be included on the video clip. (Student will be responsible for turning in their prearranged questions (typed).
5. Pupil will write at least two rough drafts of their article and one final copy.
6. Pupils will organize their video using a Flip video camera
7. Pupils will present their videos to a 5th grade classroom.
8. Pupils will work cooperatively in groups of two.
9. Pupils will turn in one typed final copy along with their video clip.

Materials and Resources:

Projector (for computer) to present to the 5th grade
List of pre-determined partners
An example presentation of a completed project
word processing program
Internet access
Flip Video Camera
Computer paper
Student school appropriate music (student choice)
Calendar with due dates for steps
Complete Rubric with each step in the process


A. Introduction-

1.Use a projector to show an example inspirational video essay.
2.Have the students meet with their partners to think of a person they want to research .
3.Discussion of exploration using the internet with these questions in mind: 1. Why do we need to know about this person? 2. What has his/her impact (influence/lasting effect or impression) been on the world? 3. What did he/she achieve? 4. How did the time and place in which he/she lived play a role in what he/she was able to achieve? 5. What can we learn from him/her?

B. Development-

1. Use Internet for development.
2. Explain that the class will be creating an inspiration video, and they must keep this in mind at all phases of their project.
3. Tell the students they will be working in pairs to create the paper and the video. Each pair will be responsible for a different aspect, and they need to work out the work load.
6. The paper will be due on this date and give them a guideline of when things should be done. Video will also have a due date.
7. Explain the five different responsibilities in creating the paper.
8. Assign partners (pre-arranged)

C. . Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

1. Pre-arranged partners according to ability level.
2. Word processing: spell check grammar check word prediction software
3. Paired students with one tech savvy student with one that may struggle with technology.

D. Checking for understanding

1. Check to make sure they understand exactly how to use the Flip video camera; possibly give mini lesson on flip video camera when needed.

E. Closure-

1. Practice presentations to the class before presenting to the 5th grade class.
2. Have class discussion to see how they think the presentations turned out.


1. The pupils will have met the criteria for their determined topic. (The correct number of paragraphs, opinion or fact based, and will remain on the assigned topic.) Make sure they met all criteria for the Flip video camera. Have students evaluate each others’ project during the presentation to the 5th graders.

Teacher Reflection :

I plan to spend a week of class teaching the students how to create a school a project using the Flip video camera. I will also create a survey to receive feedback on how the students felt this project went and what changes I should make for next year.

Materials: Whiteboards, Video Cameras, Flip Video, Hard Drives, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Word Processor, Keyboarding, Slideshow, Video Tools, Internet Services, Integrating Technology