Friday, May 24, 2013

7th Grade Students Producing Documentaries

Mrs. Schroeder came to me a few months ago and said, "I have an idea, I want the students to create documentaries about how humans affect the earth.  I plan to provide instruction to the students on how humans effect the earth by having various experts around our community come into our classes or us going to visit them.  The experts will provide information to the students about water conservation, water treatment (sewage plant as well as our power company and treatment of drinking water), earth conservation and recycling.  I'd like them to take what they learned and expand their learning more by creating a documentary on anything that pertains to Earth conservation."  I said that sounds interesting, sure I think we can pull that off.  Mrs. Schroeder said, "I have one problem I don't know how to create documentaries, do you?"  I said absolutely, and since we are a Mac district we can use iMovie which is already installed on the students computers. Mrs. Schroeder and I then collaborated on a sequence of instructions to teach the students how to create and edit video within iMovie. We wanted the students to become familiar with the program first before they created their actual documentaries. I went into Mrs. Schroeder's classes and taught the students the ins/outs of iMovie. I will attach the tutorial document we used as a reference.  Students were modeled how to edit/import video. After instruction the students were able to create a short video using the elements of iMovie they had received tutorial on. Students were able to create a 1-3 min video on any topic they choose. The goal in this objective was to familiarize the students with iMovie. Mrs. Schroeder then provided a unit on how humans affect the Earth. This unit is part of the curriculum based on the common core standards for 7th grade. She spent about 3 weeks of instruction covering this content. Students went on field trips, experts were brought into the classroom covering the effects of humans on the Earth, and Mrs. Schroeder provided information from text books, notes, internet sites. All of the content was presented to the students so they would have a vast background knowledge of the content they may need for their own documentaries. Students were then given about a week to create their own documentaries on the effects humans have on the Earth. I will attach a few of the links to their documentaries. We believe they turned out pretty cool. Seventh Graders were pretty awesome producers.