Today Hil, Andy and I started our LEO TV/School reporters afterschool class. I was slightly nervous, having never taught a video production class before, but we came in prepared with lots of things to do. We had a group of ten students, mostly 3rd graders, so it would be challenging to keep them engaged for 2 hours.

Our goal was to heighten awareness about media conventions/ story telling and help students begin thinking like journalists.

After introducing ourselves, we began with this video:

What followed was a full 30 minute conversation about the conventions that Spike Jonze used to engage the viewer and bring the lamp to life. Students had excellent insight, suggesting that the lamp was filmed like a baby, that it had a face, and we could see it’s point of view. We also introduced the importance of lighting, music and other “mood enhancing” production techniques.

We took notes using this prezi:

Leo TV on Prezi

After a break, Hil suggested that we do a role play to help students begin thinking like reporters. After a group conversation about the journalistic importance of who, what, where, when, and why, Andy approached me with a bunch of books and put them into my hand and I pretended to get angry and storm out of the room. As soon as I left, Hil and Andy directed the kids to write about what had just happened. Some students recognized that I was acting, and the role play was done to give them something to write about. Other students got into the drama and reported as if Andy and I really had a fight. Each student wrote their own “story,” shared with the group, and we talked about the different ways to write about the exact same event. Enlightening.

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