Today we have been working with Greengates and St. Oswald’s Primary schools, training some children to become Media Literacy Leaders. The aim was to train a small number of children to take the lead back in class when it came to the whole process of creating films. They would be able to train other pupils and adults too in making the film creation process sustainable and manageable in each school.
As part of the training we watched the short Pixar film ‘For the Birds’. We discussed the main themes of the film and asked the children to write one sentence that summed up what the film was about. We then asked them to distill their thoughts by summing up the film in three words. We used Wordle to visualise the main themes from the film which can be seen below.
The children then chose one word to capture the essence of the film. Once we had clear in our heads the main themes we set about creating our own stories that had one of the themes from For the Birds. We wanted the children to plot their own story to a story mountain format. To revise our understanding of the story arc form we plotted For the Birds to a story mountain sheet. Claire Dunsire from Greengates Primary shared the idea of plotting the problem first in the centre of the sheet, then the beginning and the ending. This makes it easier to fit the other events into the right areas. The sheet we used was taken from Primary Resources and can be found here.
The next step was for our small groups to create their own story. They used the same storyboard to plot their tale. We asked each group to sum up their story mountain in thirty seconds, as in this example.
Now it was time for the test. Everything below had to be done independently to qualify as Media Literacy Leaders. Each group had to to film their storyboards, edit the footage by adding titles and fades. Their films were then exported to the camera roll on the iPads. After this each group had to connect their iPad to a PC, import their footage to the correct folder in a shared drive and rename it. Once they could open it and play it back they had qualified as Media Literacy Leaders. They should now be able to go back to school and train other pupils and teachers in the filming, editing and viewing of films created by children.