Guest Blogger: Ms. Fiedler, Erickson Elementary Art Teacher
First, I am so honored to be a guest blogger for this amazing blog! Recently all 4th grade students at Erickson completed their Movie in Minutes project. We take a well known movie and turn it into a 5 minute film, completely retelling the story using a green screen.
The idea to bring this project into the elementary classroom actually came to me when I actually completed this project as a college sophomore while at University of Illinois. To understand the challenge of including visual culture in art curriculum, our assignment was to retell a movie in two and a half minutes. We shot our films around the Champaign Urbana campus and completed the project in about 3 weeks. Following completing our assignment, my professor challenged us to bring this into a classroom with students.
Erickson 4th graders began this project shortly after returning from winter break. It is is a very long project, but it is scaffolded so every week there is a new piece introduced to the puzzle. We began researching different aspects of movies (such as setting, props, etc.) and problem solving examples to simplify a movie to 5 short minutes. Students were assigned groups, scenes and began storyboarding and writing scripts. I added a aspect of student-led leadership to the project; the student or students that wrote the script became the directors of the scene. They are responsible for the success and all directions of the scene and the only person that can give feedback during critiques during filming. During filming there is a rotation one group is filming in front of our green screen, two groups are rehearsing at a whisper level in storage rooms, and all others are drawing the backdrops to be digitally entered in post production. Following filming, we begin a completely new project and on a rotation the directors of the scenes come edit their scenes using iMovie and Do Ink’s Green Screen Apps.
When the videos are completed with editing, we will have a premiere complete with a red carpet! Overall, I am so proud of all of the hard work that everyone put into these productions! I am hopeful in bringing green screens and video editing into all grades in art classes at Erickson in the future.
Guest Blogger, Fourth Grade Erickson Student
I feel so happy to be here. This art project we are working on is a miniature version of Toy Story 2. We are taking the whole movie and reacting it to a five minute version of it. We are using homemade props, costumes, and backdrops to help us out. This feels like an important project to me. It's also the reason I'm typing this article. I really like this project because it makes me feel special.