We’re a little bit behind over here in Bangkok, but we got a great start to Chris Craft’s Life ‘Round Here project today!

The cool thing about this project is that our students are currently doing a unit on adaptation. They’ve studied different cultures around the world and how they’ve adapted to change, which makes this topic absolutely perfect for them.

Here’s what we did today:

The Hook:

I showed a sample video from my sixth grade class last year (feel free to use some of ours if you don’t have a sample – go to the student pages and click on the “create” page of their online portfolio – one especially good one is here). We watched the video one time all the way through, then I asked the students to turn to their neighbor and discuss what they saw and what was especially interesting to them. Once they had a chance to process, we brainstormed a list of helpful tips as a class:

  • kept it simple
  • you can learn lots of information from a video
  • use effects only when needed, when they enhance the content (not so many that they’re distracting)
  • integrate different types of images (like screen shots of Google Earth)
  • make sure music fits with the slideshow
  • use titles to organize your movie into main themes – this needs to be planned in advance
  • use categories within categories to further organize
  • keep the titles consistent
  • photos can represent a lot about a topic

Then, we watched the video one more time, pausing at some of the crucial parts to point out important features of a successful video – things like consistent titles, categorizing images, and symbolic photos.

The Activity:

Next, we broke students down into small groups to brainstorm the main ideas of their movie. Our groups were created based on home country nationality (we have 2 Japanese students, 3 Korean students, 3 American students, 4 European students, 5 Thai students and 1 Taiwanese student) to help them answer the essential questions:

  • What is life like here in Thailand?
  • How have we adapted to life in Thailand?
  • How have Thai people adapted to the influence of Western culture?

The focus of the activity was to develop as many “big ideas” as they could – the “big ideas” will eventually become the organizing sections/titles for their movie (for example: religion, food, clothing, etc). The students who are not actually from Thailand then discussed how they adapted to living in this different culture and the Thai students discussed how the Thai people have adapted to the influence of Westen culture.

Next Steps:

The next time we meet, our students will brainstorm what kinds of pictures will be appropriate to represent their main topics. Students will have some time to search for pictures themselves, but anything that is too time consuming or difficult to find, I will compile for them.

After they have their pictures, the students will put them in order, with the titles they developed today to organize their different topics. Once their pictures and titles are in order, students will write a script to plan their narration for the video.

Next, they will create and narrate their videos – hopefully all in one long afternoon lesson, considering what a pain it is to create videos in iMovie when we have to save all the files to the desktop to avoid rendering over the network.

Finally, students will watch all of the videos (including those from the other schools) and reflect on the process of creating them, what they learned, and how they might do things differently the next time.

Tags: elementary, 21stcentury, globalcollaborations, internationalschool, collaborations, LifeRoundHere, ChrisCraft

3 thoughts on “Life Round Here: Lesson One

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge