The Lorax Lesson

I have embedded an example of one of my favorite books as a kid, “The Lorax,” by Dr. Seuss. My video would be targeted towards a second grade audience.

My goal would be for students to fulfill the common core state standard, ” CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.2:
Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.”

I like the idea of using this video as a resource, where I play the video out loud, and students follow along in their own books. The video would be a good introduction to the kids about what imovie looks like in a classroom.  As the students are reading the book out loud and listening to the imovie version, I will periodically pause the video and ask them to retell the story in order to check for understanding. What was “The Lorax about?” After we have a class discussion about the video’s summary, I would ask the students to share what they thought the central message of the story was. My objective would be for students to share about how “The Lorax” is connected to the issue of environmentalism in the world.

At the end of the lesson, I would ask students to brainstorm topics that they care about. Every day, I will begin class with a lesson about a topic with a lesson or moral. At the end of the unit, I will ask students to look for books with a distinct lesson or moral in the class library. After presenting students with a tutorial on how to create an imovie, they will be put in groups and create their own imovie where they read the book of their choice out loud and explain why they picked it, what it is about, and what the central message or lesson is.

Video: Changing History

It is impossible to write about using video to teach high school social studies without mentioning CrashCourse. CrashCourse is a collaborate educational platform spearheaded by brothers John and Hank Green. Their videos cover virtually everything one might expect to learn in school, from English to physics and computer science to psychology. I find that their history content is especially well done. Teachers can use CrashCourse videos to supplement lesson plans, offer students review material, or even flip the classroom to allow for more in-class discussion time. Here is a description of CrashCourse from the creators themselves:


Their videos are engaging, quick, and informative – a perfect combination for teachers and students alike.  As access to information online become more readily available, I wonder what changes we will see in the functions of classrooms, schools, and curriculum.

How would you use CrashCourse videos in your class?

How has the availability of online educational content influenced how you teach and learn?

Video from: YouTube/CrashCourse

Creating Multimedia Books with iMovie

In my search of ways to use iMovie in elementary-age classrooms, I came across the suggestion of using it to create multimedia books. To do this a teacher would ask students to read their story aloud (record it) and draw pictures to go with them (illustrate). Another idea would be to take pictures of students acting out their story and insert them into iMovie. To start the students in their writing, you could use themes or ideas that you are teaching such as letters, shapes, biomes, plants, opposites, etc. or ask that they write an about me book similar to the ones in the example video I found. Students write stories all the time, why not turn them into a multimedia experience!

All About Me Multimedia Books from Title IID - Queens, NYCDOE! on Vimeo.

iMovie in the Classroom


This embedded video is an example I found on youtube of a student made trailer using imovie based on the topic they are currently studying in that class.  Often students have a lot of fun using Imovie to make a trailer to showcase what they learn and this is a win-win situation because it allows you as the teacher to assess what the students have learned while also giving the students a chance to engage with and share their knowledge in a fun way. Imovie and video can be such a beneficial tool in the classroom allow students an active and creative way to express the knowledge they have learned to the teacher or to create a fun classwide project for the parents. Using video in the classroom also allows students the opportunity to bring in clips from things they experience outside of the classroom and yet relate back to what they are learning, for example if they are learning about the weather students could include actual clips of the weather outside. Another use for video in the classroom is teachers using it to introduce a topic to students or explain important concepts they are learning about in a way that is more likely to capture the students attention.

I think overall video can be a very useful and engaging tool in the classroom. I think that it can also be very fun as the teacher to look at how your students learn differently and what they choose to highlight as important in their videos, and it is also interesting to see how their videos are the same or different even if they are on the same topic.

The Great Escape: Writing Prompt

This week we learned how to use iMovie and then were given the task of creating a learning resource. I have used iMovie to create a, hopefully, more engaging writing prompt to show to students before they begin their brainstorming and writing process . This was inspired by our previous post about classroom’s of the future. I envisioned more visual methods of instruction being incorporated via technology and believe that iMovie writing prompts would be a great start. Although I would also provide students with this prompt in written form, showing students an iMovie writing prompt would likely be more interesting and exciting for most students. At times it can be difficult as a student to visualize what the prompt is asking of them when there are no images that go with it. This is a way to add both text and images to a prompt in a unique way. I can definitely foresee myself creating more iMovie writing prompts for future students as a way to make free writes fun!


iMovie How to – Ideas for the Classroom

When experimenting with iMovie in class, I realized how easy and accessible it is not only for me as a teacher, but also for students. All that is needed is an idea, videos, and creativity. I had this idea and it really could be used for any subject of school. I thought that students could use iMovie to either reenact scenes from a book they are reading in class, reenact a history lesson, or even perform science experiments.

Through not only reading about these occurrences but actually reenacting will offer students to be more hands on.  This will give them extra insight on what they are learning. Since students will be recording themselves, they can also present their movies in front of the class which will give insight to the other students findings and interpretations of the lesson. This will spike students creativity which I think is very important in the classroom.

I was having trouble finding an example for this, but  I really do think this was be a beneficial way of learning.

Student Interest Project Using iMovie

In ED Tech class this last week, we learned how to use iMovie in the Digital Lab at University of Portland. Not only was this a particularly exciting application for me to learn how to use because I have always wanted to work with iMovie, but I had recently traveled to California to visit my younger brother at his college and see his life–so I had footage to use and was ready to create! I loved taking the small videos that I had and blending them together, cropping them, adding music, adjusting the sound levels, and replaying my video over and over again until I had it all just right! It was a creative process for me to eliminate unnecessary clips, pick the perfect song, and ultimately produce my very first short film using iMovie!

As a future educator, I also look at iMovie with excitement for how it can be used in the classroom! I am using my video as an example for what I would consider a “Student Interest Project.” A Student Interest Project could be created using any type of medium the student chose (but video would be encouraged), and students would be given access to the application (iMovie/Movie-Maker) if they do not have it at home. The goal for this assignment would be for students to pick some aspect of their life, something they love, something that describes them, and try to show it artistically using video and music. Like my video, it could be about a trip, family members or friends, a sport or other activity, or anything the student hoped to share with the class! A step up from the “Student of the Week” poster projects, using iMovie or another movie-making application can give students a chance to share part of their life with the class, build community, and utilize their own creativity with technology and imagination!

iMovie in the Classroom

Learning to use iMovie is a really great tool to know for my future classroom, especially since it is so simple for students to learn how to use as well. We saw a few examples of what it could be used for in class such as a trailer or a short video including pictures and videos. From this, I thought a really interesting way you could have your students use iMovie is for a book report. Movie trailers for a book that they have read to discuss the main ideas and favorite parts of the book.  One to two minutes long, and have a day or week that all students get to share their book reports. This may be easiest to do as a group project, for different books from book groups, or maybe an individual project that each reader had a different story to read.

From this idea, I found a few examples of this that had already been used in other classrooms.

I think this would be a really awesome way to get students involved in movie making and learning how to use the basics of iMovie while also teaching others about what they read!

iMovie in the Classroom

As technology continues to advance, so do the opportunities to enhance student learning in the classroom. One example of this would be using iMovie. Upon further research, I found many ways to use iMovie in an elementary classroom. One obvious way would be to make presentations and/or show your students how to make their own presentations. With your guidance, students can experiment using different sounds, transitions, and more in their presentations. Both students and teachers can also use iMovie to document things that they experience outside of school that are relevant to what they are learning in the classroom. This could serve as somewhat of a digital field trip for your students.

Some other interactive ways to use iMovie with your students include digital storytelling, which would help them develop their communicative skills. One of my favorite examples I found was having students use iMovie to create trailers for a book they read. Students will create a video as if they are making a movie/trailer based off of a book they read. This seemed like a good way to assess students on their comprehension skills, while letting them enjoy the process and be creative. Once students have made one of the above projects, they can practice giving feedback on each other’s videos. Overall, using iMovie in the classroom is an innovative and interactive way to get students engaged in the classroom. Below are some examples of iMovie being used in the classroom:



iMovie in the Classroom

The teacher that make this video as a way to introduce new units or topics to the class in a meaningful way using clips that the students are familiar with. This video goes over what makes a fairy tale.

What I like about this is that students can go back and review the lesson/information given when they need to. You can also have students use iMovie to show their understanding/create a presentation of a subject to share with the class like in this second video.


I could see myself using this technology in the same way in my future classroom. The first video is also great for students who were absent to get caught up on work without feeling like they missed some important information since it is all right there.  I also like having this as an alternative to using a powerpoint when students give presentations.

Both videos found here

Book Trailer

“Journey to the Center of the Book” is a play off the words from the movie and book title “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. When we were learning about IMovie and video creation, I kept being drawn into the trailer component.  I love trailers because they give sneak peeks into what the movie will be about and allows people to enter into this magical world through a more engaging platform. I tried it out and I found it very easy to use. It comes with it’s own template, making it easy for students to be creative. They also have the option to create their very own trailer without a template.

While I loved the trailer idea, I was trying to figure out how i could use this platform in a lesson. On “We Are Teachers”, they had the idea of challenging students to design a movie-style trailer for their favorite book. Their own goal is make the book appealing, so that other students would be excited to read it. I looked up this idea and found a video in which students collaborated in partners to create a movie trailer for the book the “BFG”. It was very engaging because it had pictures, music, and images that really drew people into the trailer.

I would use this in my classroom and give students the option to work in partners or by themselves. I would tell students they make it as dramatic or simple as possible. Their only goal is to create a video presentation which represents their book. Every person sees a book in a different way, so this project allows them to broadcast what the book meant to them.

Lesson Idea and Video are from these two sources: