Share this post

4 Quick Tips for Creating Movies with Students

Sharing stories is a powerful way to enhance a learning experience — and it can happen all school year long. For example, at the start of the school year, students can introduce themselves to their classmates while learning how to navigate new digital platforms. In the middle of the school year, kids can create a movie to reflect on progress toward personal and academic goals. Finally, as the end of the year approaches, students can use moviemaking to share experiences from the school year, like field trips or special celebrations. The possibilities for creating movies with students are endless!

No matter the time of year, moviemaking provides students with an opportunity to explore how to share information through multimedia.

Creating Movies with Students

There are many student-friendly moviemaking tools like iMovie, Apple Clips and Adobe Spark. If you’ve followed along for a while, you know that I love Adobe Spark. It’s a powerful creation tool that is free for teachers. Ben Forta and I wrote a book called 40 Ways to Inject Creativity in the Classroom with Adobe Spark. It includes lots of ways to use the three Spark tools in the classroom. 

FREE DOWNLOAD >> grab these planning pages for moviemaking in the classroom.

NOTE: This blog post is a modified version of the transcript to a past episode of the Easy EdTech Podcast. It’s a little more conversational than the way I usually write — because this is a modified transcript of a favorite podcast episode. Rather listen than read? Click here or press play below.

Let’s jump into some quick tips to get you started with moviemaking, no matter what creation tool you are using!

Create an Exemplar

An exemplar shows students what their finished product will look like and is your way to communicate expectations. Creating an exemplar helps students visualize what they will make. It provides a “great example” for what they will do at the end of a series of lessons or units of study. For example, if your students are creating a movie with a step-by-step guide on how to solve a math problem, you can make one to show off to them before they get started.

Spotlight tool: Explain Everything is perfect for math tutorials.

The possibilities for creating movies with students are endless! Learn how to set up students for successful moviemaking projects this year.

Storyboard With Students

Let students watch as you storyboard your own “teacher” writing. As students watch your model writing, they can transfer this strategy to their own writing. When you decide to have students storyboard, you might give them specific prompts or set up a time for one-on-one conferences to provide detailed feedback on their planning. Storyboarding can take place on paper or with digital tools. 

Spotlight tool: Storyboard That is perfect for creating storyboards with students.

Brainstorm Keywords

Searching for images to accompany dialogue can be a challenge for students. However, brainstorming keywords for search terms can help set students up for success. For younger students, making a list of keywords can help them tackle any barriers with spelling. This can set them up for success as they go off to search for images, icons, or videos. For older students, you might have them brainstorm related words on a topic if they don’t find what they are looking for on the first try.

Spotlight tool: Spark Post lets students search for images using keywords.

Establish an Audience

When you get started with moviemaking in your classroom, make sure students know who will see their final product. For example, you might locate a partner class on Twitter, invite family and community members to a special event, or create a website to showcase video links.

Audiences might be live or virtual, but wherever they are located, you can give them the opportunity to leave feedback and celebrate student work.

Spotlight tool: Book Creator lets students share their final product using a link.

As you jump into moviemaking this school year, these quick tips (and favorite resources) can help you get started right away. If you’re looking for inspiration for student creations, check out this podcast episode with Jessica Pack on “The Benefits of Using Moviemaking in Your Classroom.” You can also flip to chapter five of my new book, EdTech Essentials: The Top 10 Technology Strategies for All Learning Environments. This chapter is titled “Give Students Time and Space to Create Products of Learning.”

FREE DOWNLOAD >> grab these planning pages for moviemaking in the classroom.

Stay up-to-date on all things EdTech.

EdTech tips and resources for educators, straight from Monica’s desk every Monday. Don’t miss a thing. 

Share this post:

Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

Share this post:
Keep Reading
Free Planning Pages
Free gift: Weekly Planner Pages for Teachers and Educators

Start every week with a plan and stay organized this school year!

Free summer Checklist

Sign up for EdTech Tips Newsletter from Monica Burns

5 Things to Do Now to Make Tech Easier in the New School Year

Free eBook
Free Gift: Spring Cleaning - 10 Quick Tips to Organize Your Google Drive

Spring Cleaning with an EdTech twist!