In this project the kids will do a quick video in which they act out an idiomatic phrase, then incorporate the video into a multimedia guessing game.
Plan on working on the various elements of this project in three sessions of about 30 minutes each: Steps 1 and 2 in the first session; Steps 3 and 4 in the next; and Step 5 in the last session. Younger children may require more time on modeling and practice for various segments.
Be sure that your kids have already been introduced to the basics of digital photography. You should also be familiar with creating presentations and multimedia projects.
Spend some time talking about idioms with your kids as part of your work on basic language skills. Once they're comfortable with the concept, move on to Step 2.
Start by having the kids give you some examples of idioms. Now, in pairs, have them visit one or more of the following sites and ask them to come back with three interesting idioms:
Give them about five minutes for this task.
Have the kids get into groups of four. Instruct each team to select one of the idioms from their combined lists, then determine how they will act it out as a group. It's not charades, so they can use words as they act it out if they want to, but they cannot say the idiom or any of its words. Show them what you mean by acting out a simple idiom of your own, such as "cross your fingers." Give them five to 10 minutes to do so.
Bring a pair-share partner to the front of the room, and film her acting out either your idiom or one of her own, then have her film you. Then have each team select one person to do the filming, and give them one or two more minutes to think about how they'll act things out.
Clear a small area of the room where the actors can work, then call each team to the area, in turn, to film their piece. Have the camera operator stand in an appropriate position, and have one of the team members start onscreen by announcing, "We are performing an idiom. Can you guess what it is?" The team will then act it out as planned.
Remember that most digital cameras have only enough memory for 30 to 40 seconds of video and sound. This time restriction actually is a benefit; it helps the kids focus on making a tight piece. Make sure the group is quiet while the filming takes place.
When the filming is done, have the class try to guess the idiom, with the team announcing the answer. Then have the next team come up for filming, until every team has filmed its idiom. Have them save the videos to the computer's hard drive with appropriate names.
Go to the computer and open your multimedia program. Demonstrate how to create a simple, three-slide show. You can probably show the kids all the tools they'll need for this simple project in just one session, but you may want to spend extra time allowing them to explore the features of the program in more depth—it's up to you.
As you demonstrate the process, be sure to use good modeling with the standard pair-share process. Follow the usual guidelines for teaching about technology, and leave some time for experimentation after the kids have followed your modeling steps. Refer to your software manuals and the program's HELP files for details on using the tools. The minimum tools and features to cover are as follows:
Create all three pages of your demonstration slide show, then call on two people from one of the teams to repeat what you did in front of the class using their own video.
Have the kids go to their computers to create their own slide shows. Let them explore and play with some of the other tools of your multimedia program, such as drawing, text, and background effects, to dress up their presentations.
The YouthLearn Initiative at EDC. Created by the Morino Institute. ©2012 Education Development Center, Inc. All rights reserved.