The success of a creative project isn’t measured by its outcome. The process is what gives it it’s lasting impression, leaving behind the sought after imprint of fulfilment for our children.
Written by Lorrie Holmes
Ever considered making a music video with your class then decided against it because it seemed too daunting a task? The good news is that it doesn’t need to be. There is a way to simplify this type of project into something very manageable. One that will set up each student for success and even you, the teacher. Here’s how we did it in the above video. By breaking our project into 5 manageable steps.
STEP 1. CHOOSE A LYRiCAL SONG
Choosing a song with a lyrical story offers a lot of opportunity to visualize your project. This is a great way to engage your students in creative writing. Humorous songs seem to be a choice that appeal to most kids and one genre I often lean towards when working with larger groups.
STEP 2: FIND THE STORY
Analyzing the meaning of the lyrics as a musical story offers a lot of teachable moments and stimulating class discussions. It can be a really fun way to introduce your students to poetry and figurative language. One task your students should find exciting is the job of interpreting these creative words with the end goal being to adapt them into their own visual story.
STEP 3: STORYBOARD YOUR IDEAS
While learning to stay focused on the POV of the camera, the fun begins as your group adapt each original line with ideas about how to retell the story. As you all visually break down each shot, many decisions will need to be made. Two key questions to ask your students here are what will be the focal point in each shot and how can we create these scenes in our classroom environment? At this point, you can assign lines to students to be included in their storyboard templates with corresponding sketches for each frame. This can include actor(s), props, costumes and set decorations – again, anything depicted through the POV of the camera.
STEP 4. TAKE iNVENTORY
Now that each line has been broken down and sketched out in storyboard form, choices can be made about what sorts of props, backdrops and costumes will be needed to move the story forward. Things get fun here as each child will CHOOSE their role in this project. Of course, you the teacher will be instrumental at this stage as you consider the personalities and strengths of each student. Things to think about include whether the student is outgoing and wants their face in front of the camera or would they prefer to stay behind the scenes. From here, there are all sorts of additional choices to be made. Do they like art? If so, they might prefer to get involved in prop making or set decorating. Other fun titles and roles include music director, stage director, costume supervisor. You can assign responsibilities in a class discussion or have them planned out ahead of time depending on how you want to workshop this with your class. Of course, you’ll also have to consider if this video is going to be pressed to CD’s only or if you will be sharing it on any social media channels. If so, you’ll of course need to know ahead of time who has permission to be included on camera and who doesn’t.
One of the key points to think about when taking inventory is what will be required to tell your version of the story visually. What will be included in each frame? In our project, the answers to these questions created some fun problem solving activities as the kids determined what we already had in our supply room, and what we still had to make, or bring in. Since our main character was a mad scientist, we began by breaking into our science curriculum supplies. Here we found a doctor’s jacket, stethoscope, safety goggles, some specimen jars and even some bone props. In addition, the kids created some backdrops so they could include extra lab equipment in the video that we didn’t have, along with a bowl of eyeballs!
When it came to costumes, we chose to create paper bag masks. This is always super fun and was a large project in itself as we researched which monsters we would like to include in our story, then looked up designs for such characters and began sketching them out. A template was then created for each character and poster paper was used to fill in each section of the character to be glued to the paper bag. The costumes were hung in our hallways for everyone to enjoy as Halloween art and they were simply taken down when we needed to use them in our scenes.
STEP 5. BREAK THINGS DOWN, FRAME BY FRAME
One very simple way to move the story forward without committing to rehearsing scenes and learning lines is to act everything out in photo sequences. By doing so, students will learn even more about point of view (POV) as each photo becomes part of a sequence – including a beginning, middle, and end to your story. It’s a super fun way to explore story structure. This sort of format makes classroom management doable as you can film any part of the story at any time and put it all together in order at the end. With only a few children required at any given time to be included in a controlled scene, it also allows for many assistant roles from a lot of children who will be eager to help out from behind the scenes.They’ll have so much fun adding last minute artwork, helping out with directing, and many other tasks that will come up while working collaboratively with your entire class.
MORE MOMENTS OF OUR MONSTER MASHING FUN!
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS is proud to be ranked a
Top 100 Early Childhood Education Blog of 2019
CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Early Childhood Education Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Early Childhood Education blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.
Top 100 Rated Blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
- Google reputation and Google search ranking
- Influence and popularity on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites
- Quality and consistency of posts
- Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review