Age: 10+yrs Ease *
This software is more sophisticated and is not specifically created for children. Having said that, it is not complicated and is well within the skills base of learners in the recommended age range.
If you do not already have Windows Moviemaker on your computer, you will need to download it from the web (use the link below). The download is usually free.
When you’re all set and ready to go, ask learners to open the program. The screen will be largely blank, with a small black screen on the top right-hand of the screen (this is where their movie will be played). The business end of the operation is on the top left hand; it includes the usual tabs like ‘file’, ‘edit’, ‘view’ etc. Running down the side will be technical gizmos such as ‘import’, ‘edit’ and ‘publish to’. Along the bottom will be the ‘Storyboard’.
Learners will already have footage they’ll want to use. This can be several short clips or one continuous piece of footage. This footage may have been taken during a PE lesson, during a science experiment or whilst on their holidays in Cromer! It’s up to you and them what footage is used!
The trickiest bit (which isn’t that tricky really) is importing the footage. You will have your footage in one of four places, and these are as is noted on the links on the left: ‘from digital video camera’ (this includes phones), the ‘video’ file on your computer, the ‘pictures’ file on your computer or in the ‘audio or music’ file on your computer.
Click on the relevant link and locate the footage you want to use. Double right click on the footage and hey-presto, in seconds, the footage should now appear on the main Windows Moviemaker screen.
Drag the video clip(s) you’d like to use, one to each blank square on the storyboard. If you click the play button beneath the screen in the right-hand corner, your clips should play. This is easy if you’re only using one clip. For multiple clips, drag one to each blank square on the ‘Storyboard’. The basic movie is now pretty much complete!
To add give the movie a real film flavour, learners will need to click on the ‘Titles and credits’ link on the left. We suggest only experimenting with ‘Title at the beginning’ and ‘Credits at the end’ until learners are more familiar with the software and processes.
Click on ‘Title at the beginning’ and in the first box ask pupils to type in the film title. In the box below they can type their name(s). To finish, they must click on ‘Add title’.
Back on the main screen, ask learners to click on ‘Titles and credits’ again and then click ‘Credits at the end’. Here they can type their name(s), role(s) etc.
Again, ask learners to press the play button to see their movie in its entirety and to decide if they’re happy with their work.
What do I need?
Windows Movie Maker, iMovie (for Apple Mac) or similar software. Video clips courtesy of a digital camera or phone. It is also possible to download clips from the internet.
In order to see if you have Windows Movie Maker as part of your computer software package, click the windows button (usually bottom left on your desktop), and type the programme name in the search box. If it doesn’t appear in the white pane above, you will need to download the software from the web (see URL below).
The added value greatly depends on the context. For example, using Windows Movie Maker to edit, produce and publish learners’ news reports adds a professional touch and real-life experience to literacy work. School-leavers can film and edit a documentary based on their time in the school. This could be burnt to CD and sold in order to raise money for their end of year trip. As with the unit on using Devlove Moviemaker, these It skills can only really be developed using this genre of software.
Hints and tips
If you’d like learners to further develop their movies, they can change the colour/font of the opening titles and end credits. They can also manipulate the slide transitions (fade in/out) etc and add a soundtrack or voice-over. More information, ideas and instructions can be found in this great on line tutorial for teachers prepared by Roli Straub – who was one of our awesome Taccle 1 group of teachers.
If learners are using this software for the first time, it is better to have them work in small groups. It would also be sensible to work with only a few groups at a time. Having the whole class trying to produce their own movie at the same time when you yourself may not have much experience in using the software could cause a lovely lesson to become needlessly chaotic!
We suggest that you vet any video clips learners use off the internet. If you have any doubts at all, use only video clips learners themselves have filmed.
Other opportunities to use the same software:
- Go on a maths walk and get the children to find e.g right angles, tessellated shapes, fractals, patterns in nature, parallel lines etc and point them out.
- Children stand tables in the classroom and slowly move the camera to film objects from above. Project onto the whiteboard, freeze the film and draw the outline of the shapes from above. Use as a basis for talking about plan views, mapping etc. Talk about – and show – Google earth views of their school and draw the outlines.
- Get the children to make a few minutes of film about e.g traffic, the market, animals in a field, children playing and use as a starter for writing a story
- Ask children to make a short ‘how to’ film on e.g using a protractor, making a mosaic, pressing a flower. Remember to get them storyboarding it first.
- Interview each other about e.g their favourite book and why they would recommend it
- Interview visitors to the school – at every opportunity! (Governors, local authority staff, policemen, nurses etc)
- Make a video alphabet – get younger children to draw brightly coloured letters of the alphabet. Hold them up and film each other saying the letter. Older children can then take some film to illustrate each letter e.g animals, birds, cars, dogs etc
- Film a PE or dance or drama lesson and use it as a basis for improvement
- Ask children to video what they have been doing / their favourite school activities. Share it with parents at e.g parents evenings or through the school website
- Set a puzzle for the class (e.g logic problem or lateral thinking problem) and get children to video their solutions. Find out whether their explanations are clearer when they know they are being filmed.
- Make a film to illustrate a poem.
- Make an advert for…a favourite book, a local place to visit, why people should recycle
- Make a time lapse video by taking a 30 sec film every few days of e.g butterfly eggs, tadpoles. Film more frequently when changes are taking place. Draw up a rota for the filming.
- Play around with green screening – film children against a blue or green background, use green screen software to add whatever background you want. Interview famous poets / Romans / people in different countries!
Here is a useful tutorial to show you how http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtFYD-2NRMc
And here is some free software to do it http://www.123videomagic.com/download.asp
- Get older children to make a video to show changing seasons, different weather etc for younger classes (from Simon Haughton)
- If you have a robot or radio controlled toy, use gaffer tape to stick the camera to the top and record the robot’s journey (from @bevevans22)
- Get children to practice giving directions. One group gives directions to a destination, another group follow the directions filming their route and recording what they are doing.
- Don’t just record the school play or concert (although you can do that too!) – make sure you interview the cast about how they are feeling before and after the performance, film children getting ready, record moments in rehearsals, making scenery, making costumes, interview the audience after the show. Add some film of a child giving some background information on the playwright, composer etc
- Make a film of what they learned on a field trip or visit
- Pretend they are newsreaders on TV and read the school or class news for the week. (Make the TV screen out of a cardboard box)
This post is also available in: Dutch, Italian, Romanian, Welsh
If you’re looking for an easier option, why not try Animoto. It’s free (for creating basic 3 minute videos), simple, and creates very professional looking videos. A full lesson plan can be found under Primary Ideas.