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Supporting students to construct documentary videos

Video Help

Duration: 3:5

Year 6/7/8 teacher, Renee Strawbridge and her students describe how she supported them to identify specific roles in documentary making, and plan their documentary. Renee created templates in Google Docs and provided links for students to review different techniques. Renee frequently gave face-to-face feedback along with feedback via the students planning docs online.

Renee Strawbrige:
I actually outlined the whole process to them right from the beginning and then we just kind of went through the steps together. I had a Google Doc that was shared with them and it had hyperlinks and things in it so that the students could actually, if they forgot what the documentary techniques were, they could click on that and then they could go and find them or if they forgot what the camera shots were they could click on that hyperlink and then they could go and find it. They used a Google Doc and they worked collaboratively in groups in this Google Doc and they typed in all of the things that they would need to put into the into their documentary.

In my group we used Google Docs and we split the roles so one person was director. One person was the filmer. And then one person was the actor. And then we all shared the editing roles.

They really had to think out every step where they were going to film, who they were going to film, what shots they were going to use, and why they were going to use those shots. And how were they going to sort of get their story across, which elements would they use and how would they choose to film those particular elements. So that took a really long time.

First for the planning in our documentary we sorted out what we were going to do. And who's doing what. And then we started going on to whereabouts we were going to film and what shots we would try and get. Then we worked on interviews and who were going to interview and all that.

I gave them feedback all throughout the process. The more detail that they'd put into their planning process, the easier they found it when they went outside.

We had a planning sheet for all the writing that we were going to be doing. It had little boxes that had what are you going to be saying in the conclusion, or what are you going to be talking about in point one etc etc.

We used the iPad to do all of our filming. We used iMovie because iMovie is really simple and easy to use. To add the music to the movies some of them are making music on Bandlab. We've also got a Garageband so they can make their own music on Garageband. I have the facilities to plug in a keyboard or a guitar or a microphone into the Mac and I can use Garageband to create a completely original composition. They can also use Creative Commons music as well, I've got some students that are currently in the post-production period they’re editing, and they're going to add some music to it. I’ve got other kids who are literally still out there filming, and interviewing, and things like that. The kids are all at different levels that's kind of where I'm up to at the moment – not finished. Still a work in progress.

Tags: English, Primary, Collaborative tools, Writing, iPads, iMovie, Digital stories