Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holly Niemi Shares How Her Students Are Stars...Video Stars

Let Video Star kick start you into the last marking period of the 2013-2014 school year.  This app is a free and easy way to enhance any lesson.

I’ve included two different videos* as examples of Video Star’s capabilities.  The one video shows a montage of various ESL classes’ Video Star projects and the other video is one completed Video Star project in its entirety, both created by Levels 1 and 2 ELLs.  Video Star is a great way to present material visually to music.  I have used it as a culminating extension project to complement the end of the unit assessments to Edge Fundamentals.  The objective of the video project was to give students the opportunity to respond orally and in writing to the unit’s essential question.

Here is an overview of my experience using Video Star.  First, each class nominated songs that supported the unit’s theme.  For example, one unit’s essential question was entitled “What does it take to survive?”

Students suggested songs like Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”  After reviewing audio clips of the nominated songs, each class voted to choose which song would accompany their video.  Next, I printed the lyrics to the song for us to analyze together in class.  Then, students brainstormed how we would visually interpret and conceptualize these lyrics into a music video that was connected to the multiple texts we read throughout the unit.  After that, we organized and plotted all the ideas on the whiteboard to create a loose script to follow and the students signed up for various video performance roles.

The next day, it was time to shoot the videos as a class with my iPad.  Some students were so excited with this new app, they created their own videos with their iPhones. With the lyrics on the Promethean board, we shot each clip verse by verse and scene by scene until the song was complete. The next day, each class participated in a video share and watched all the Video Star videos.  While watching the videos, they had the task of answering the unit’s essential question in writing that we later discussed in a Socratic seminar.

In addition to supporting the curriculum and integrating technology, this lesson was both rejuvenating and motivating.  I found the benefits of Video Star to support the common core insofar as analyzing and interpreting meaning across genres, connecting meaning to multiple texts, as well as responding to the essential question, collaborating with others, and integrating new technology.

Day 1 (5 minutes): Students nominate songs that support the unit’s theme.
Day 2 (45 minutes): Students vote on which song will be used in the Video Star production.
Students analyze the meaning of the song lyrics and look for connections to the unit’s texts and essential question.
Students brainstorm video sequence ideas.
Students sign up for video performance roles.
Day 3 (45 minutes): Shoot the video.
Day 4 (45 minutes): Students share Video Star videos in class, respond to the essential question, and discuss their answers in a Socratic seminar.

*It is important to note that I have pixilated, darkened, and blurred the videos on purpose in order to mask the identity of students.

WIDA offers this blog post as a resource for educators.  It is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation.

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