Posts Tagged ‘animoto’

Week 5: Creating a Video

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

This week, we focused on creating a curricular music video.  The website Animoto was used to make a short, minute-ish long video that introduced a topic to the class.  The topic had to be aligned with SOL standards, and because my content area is English, I wanted to focus on literature for my video.

Animoto was surprisingly easy to use.  If you sign up as an educator, you get free access to about a dozen themes, and photos and videos can be inserted into these themes and set to music.  One theme that looked interesting to me was the Inferno theme, which has yellow and orange fire that seems to spiral.  The photos you put into this theme also appear to burn up as they are being shown.  Going off of the Inferno theme, I decided to base my music video on Dante’s Inferno.

Back in high school, I had an English teacher who read Dante’s Inferno with us and had us break into groups to create our own levels of Hell.  She asked us to reflect on our own lives and choose sins that we believed should be punished and put them in order.  The sins we thought were worse would be at the bottom, with the less grave sins focused at the top.  I went to Catholic school, so we had plenty of background reflecting on punishment and redemption.

I decided to incorporate this activity into my video.  I thought that the video should not just be an introduction to the topic, but a means of moving into a lesson or activity.  The video needs a purpose besides piquing students’ interests.  Once the students’ attention is caught with the video, they need to get used to moving onto the next step and think critically about what they are learning.  Here is my video below:

http://animoto.com/play/89U07wkmggt1Oipib1iamQ

 

I think that Animoto and curricular music videos are a great way to get students interested in a topic.  English teachers especially can benefit because we want to get students interested in what they are about to read or are already reading, and sometimes it helps to give students a visual.  Students could also make their own 30-second videos as a project.  These videos would be helpful in introducing a unit, but maybe not just one lesson.  The video can introduce a longer text or an author that students are about to come across.  I would definitely use it for unit plans, but not every day so that they don’t lose their luster.