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TeachNet Grant: Unlock Your Talent, Become a Movie Producer
Iulian Irimina

Academy for Social Action
509 West 129th street

Grades: Seventh Grade Technology
About the Grant:

Students will spend several weeks tcreating a movie based on their favorite story/book scene. They will learn all aspects of creating a movie using a multitude of multimedia tools.  Students will  use pictures, sounds, text and a movie making software. Filming is not part of the process. Students will create a video based on their understanding of a book scene or a story of their choice. They will do all their work in a computer lab or classroom and will use computers conected to Internet and optional, flash drives.

How This Grant was Adapted:

This is a creative alternative to creating a book report or a literary essay based on a work of fiction. Instead of using traditional tools such as pencil an paper, students will create a movie based on their undestanding of that book/story. The movie will be an authentic assessment of student's understanding of the book, his/her creativity along with a wide range of technology skills involved.

The teacher will need to model with his/her own movie and with many steps in the movie making process. The movie making process should not start until every student has mapped out a clear story that they want to use. Graphic organizers can help students break down their story and clarify the main points. This will avoid situations where students only create slideshows or are inconsistent in their stories (no setting, unclear plot, etc )

Project URL

My project involves the use of a website and provides a place for students to centralize all their work. They can create and save  their storyboard, store  files, images and audio clips directly on the website. Students may also use a flash drive for  data storage.

Important note: The Windows movie maker or iMovie projects need to be saved on the hard drive of the computer as they require a huge amount of space.


Each student has an account and a unique password for logging in.


The students will be able to

1. find photos and audio clips on the Internet.

2. use a website to centralize their work.

3. download free images and audio clips from the Internet.

4. use specific software to create a timeline of their story.

5. edit their digital work.

6. save and play their work in a media player.

7. use technology tools, computer applications and software to create a multimedia digital story.

8. interpret and present a story using technology.

Websites Used

See website   https://irimina.wikispaces.com

There are  many sites that offer tutorials for Windows Moviemaker including http://microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker/getstarted/default.mspx

When you open iMovie, you can go to Help on the menu bar for iMovie HD Getting Started

Sites that provide  tutorials for using iMovie:

You'll also find video tutorials on YouTube.com  and dailymotion.com

A site that offers some good introductory tools to video production for both students and teachers is http://kidsvid.altec.org

A good source for free sounds and music can be found at  sounddogs.com

Standards Addressed:

1. Students will read and listen to oral, written, and electronically produced texts and performances from American
and world literature; relate texts and performances to their own lives; and develop an understanding of the diverse
social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent. As speakers and writers, students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for self-expression and artistic creation

2. Students effectively and creatively employ computer technology (word processing, Internet browsing, Web, Windows Movie Maker etc. )

3. Students use a variety of equipment and software to enter, process, display and communicate information in different forms using text, pictures and sound.

Lesson 1:

Structuring the story

Objectives: Students interpret a story and  identify the story elements using a graphic organizer

Materials: paper graphic organizers, pencils, loose leaf paper, folders
KidsVid http://kidsvid.altec.org/scripting.html has some good online storyboard tools.)


1. The teacher presents his own movie tothe studentws as an introduction to the project.  He also presents the book that inspired him to create the movie and explains this multimedia book report project.

2. Students use a graphic organizer to break down a story that they have read. Then, they  write a few paragraps about what they are going to do in their  movie. They need to make sure there is a clear story that they want to present.

The teacher needs to assess the students' writing for clarity and meaning before students start the program.

Lesson 2:

Creating a storyboard

Objectives: Students identify tools for planning their movies

Materials: computers, webiste, login information

Procedures: This lesson requires more time than one regular class period.

Students become familiar with irimina.wikispaces.com as the central location for saving some of their work. Each student is assigned a user ID and uniques password for logging in their webspace. After that, the students learn how to create a storyboard on their own space and start inserting information from their loose leaf papers. The storyboard helps the student to visualize the text and images together and to give a sense of how the movie will unfold.

Assessment: The teacher monitors the students' progress during class but also after the students leave the room.

Lesson 3:

Research for visuals and sound for your story

Objectives: Students use the Internet to  locate and  images and  audio clips for their movie.

Materials: computers, website, flash drives (optional) files and  folders

Procedures: Students use specific websites to research images and audio clips that may help express their story. They save their work on their webspaces or on their flash drives ( optional).

Assessment: The teacher confers to the students regarding their selections.

[NOTE: For best results, students should save medium or large images for this project]

Lesson 4

Introducing Windows Movie Maker or iMovie

Objectives: Students utilize software for educational purposes

Materials: computers, website, flash drives (optional) files, folders, iMovie or Windows Movie Maker

Procedures: The teachers models the use of the software and allows sufficient time for students to master the basics. While they learn the new tool, students can import their saved pictures to the movie program. At the same time, they need to add text to help the viewers understand their video.

Important note. If students saved their work on the web, they need to copy paste their photos into a folder on their computer or flash drive. From any of these two locations, they can easily import the photos into the timeline of the software. 

Lesson 5:

Adding sound

Objectives: Students utilize software for educational purposes

Materials: same as previous step

Procedures: Students use their downloaded audio clips to add sound to their software timeline and begin editing the project.  This step is very important as the music sets the tone for the video and needs to blend with the images selected for the story. The mood that the movie inspires is crucial for evaluating student work and student's comprehension of the selected story.

Lesson 6:

Saving your movie

Objectives: Students complete their movie and save their project as a movie format
[.mov or .mwv file]

Materials: same as above

Procedures: Students work on their final version and save it in the required format to be played by a media player such as Windows Media Player.  Students can upload their movies to youtube.com, teachertube.com or the school's website. There should be a celebration where the students present their movies to their class or to a larger audience.

Iulian Irimina has been teaching middle school English for three years. This school year, he is the Technology teacher at The Academy for Social Action in Harlem.

He has recently finished his Masters Degree in Instructional Technology at New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Web-related technologies and website design range at the top of his technology interests for this year.

His main goals include guiding students to use technology for education and life and  assisting teachers to  integrate technology in their content areas.


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