Hello. I’m Charles Youngs from Bethel Park High School. Today it’s my pleasure to present to you how I’ve used digital video making from still images to motivate student research on Shakespeare. Since time is tight, and I want to show examples as well as tell some how-to’s I’m going to stick to a script . So hang on, I’m going to go quickly but rest assured . . . All of the slides, videos, handouts, you’ll see here and additional instructions are available to you online after the session.
I come to you from Western Pennsylvania. Our high school campus is located in a suburban community 10 miles south of Pittsburgh, serving about 1700 students in grades 9 through 12.
Today I am going to talk about the 9th Grade Research Paper process, in which I used Windows PhotoStory3, to enrich and deepen student research on Shakespeare ,although Apple’s iMovie would also work. And then I’m going to share the process I use with my seniors to create music videos to deepen their textual analysis of soliloquies from Macbeth using Animoto, an online service,.
Let’s look first at the 9th Grade research paper.
Focus questions: How can we borrow information and re-present it with our own thinking via traditional and digital media, hitting NCTE standards 4 and 8.
Asking key questions about Shakespeare and his work, aliged with NCTE Standard 1.
Now, I’m going to introduce you to the scope of the unit as well as to a sample of PhotoStory using the version I used for my class. So I begin the unit with this 4-minute video, which is itself a PhotoStory video.
PhotoStory comes free with all Windows products since XP. And it is very simple and intuitive to use.
Your students simply load in their images, gleaned from internet sources and/or Powerpoint. Then arrange them, add text and edit.
One of the best things of PhotoStory is the Ken Burns effect that is the motion of adding pans and zoom to still photographs. This is achieved by cropping start and ending positions for each image as shown here.
There’s a place for students to add their script and record their narration to each slide using a computer mic. The can also customize transitions between slides.
Finally, they may add a music track for background. PhotoStory does all the mixing and timing of the slides automatically.
To create trios for the video project I make a list of all the research topics and create groups based on related ideas . Thus, each video will focus on three related topics.
The research process itself is handled traditionally with note cards, manuscript form , and MLA documentation.
When the research papers are turned in ,students use them to combine their expertise for ideas to include on the documentaries.
After brainstorming these ideas, they start browsing photos online and complete a storyboard.
Since students will be taking images from online sources and their videos will be rebroadcast on the Web, now is a good time to talk about copyright and copyleft , or in other words, how to legally use images that are either in the public domain or on offer from their creators.
Students make title and credit slides in PowerPoint
by saving them as JPEG files rather than a PPT file.
For music I use these sources that offer music to be used for educational, noncommercial purposes.
I teach students that just because music is purchased doesn’t mean its available for reuse. And that free download does not necessarily mean they can use music without giving credit. Those are new ideas to most of them and an important lesson for discussion.
I made this even easier for 9th graders by pre-selecting and downloading such background music that fit the Elizabethan periodfrom Magnatune
When images are set, narration is recorded for each slide, and music is selected, studenst click a button and PhotoStory does the rest in terms of timing, transitions, and mixing the finished video.
Let’s take a look at the beginning of one mini-documentary on Shakespeare’s imagery. (Listen to 30 secs + <<picture of what ….>>)
Now, here’s another example of a documentary on Shakespeare’s Life. We have time to watch the beginning. (Listen to 30 secs- <<Cause of death of Shakespeare>>)
Of course there’s a rubric for the entire project that includes the notetaking process, the paper itself, the storyboard and video parts of the project.
To add fun and drama to the viewing of the videos we have our own version of Academy Awards for the documentaries. Instead of Oscars we call a contest for the Willys.
Students rate the videos based on the criteria we’ve been focusing upon and then write down one thing they learned from each documentary.
The mini-documentaries are the head game, as Prof. Randy Pausch puts it in his Last Lecture. Having the videos as the head game, invites students to be intrinsically motivated to do good research and care about their papers. Their engagement was high not only in the documentary production, but also throughout the research paper process. They knew they needed focused, detailed, and accurate information on Shakespeare. In short they needed to become experts on their topics, and their work was going to be seen by others, and it seems these factors led to greater overall quality on all parts of the project, particularly when I compare both process and paper to ones of my previous experience.
Next. Let’s move quickly to explored Macbeth soliloquies in the 12th grade with music video production.
My aims were to have students select textual details and effectively re-present them using digital media.
Since soliloquies evoke the thoughts and feelings of the character, I wanted students to explore the emotional state and present that in a music video.
I selected 9 soliloquies from the play and included Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene and assigned each to a trio of students.
Each group started with an analysis of the soliloquy—noting themes and imagery
Then selecting key quotes and brainstorming images. They would need about 5 lines and 20-25 images for their video.
From there they would move to finding images and storyboarding
Using Animoto is a very simple process. Students upload their images.
Then add their textual quotes.
They select from appropriate music from hundreds of tracks, available in 20 varieties from classical to hip-hop.
Then they click a button and Animoto does the rest, adding edits and movement in synch with the images, texts, and music to make a quality video that’s interesting to watch.
Animoto takes about 15 minutes to render a finished video .
Then it’s ready to play, download, or embed on a website or wiki for viewing or –if not quite what the student expected—it’s ready to re-edit as needed.
Let’s take a look thisAnimoto on the dagger soliloquy. (2:18)
I’m going to show part of another one as an example to show how the selection of music can effect the presentation. (1:49)
I’ll show you the beginning of this treatment of Macbeth’s Tomorrow Soliloquy. Here students wrote their own rap to parallel the text, using Garageband software available on Apple computers. (2:50 play 1 minute…<<meanin’ everything>>)
I’m going move from Shakespeare to Chaucre to give another short example of how my students have used Animoto to pull significant details from theProloque to the Canterbury Tales and render character sketches on Chaucer’s pilgrims. Here’ one on the Wife of Bath. (0:46)
In class I have students consider how the elements of text, image, and sound work together to complement their representation of the soliloquies.
And I thenprovide a rubric for scoring them.
Animoto is a commercial service, but free to schools for the asking. You can apply for your students to have a 6-month all access pass to the site to create the likes of what you’ve seen here today.
Two caveats: to apply, students must be 13 years of age and they need email addresses. This might present a problem. For instance at our school students are not allowed email access. The workaround is for you to create a gmail account, and I have directions for how to do this in my packet.
Again I had great results with this video product approach to textual analysis of the soliloquies, as the project necessitates closer reading and recursive , collaborative consideration of imagery to evoke meaningful interpretations. Plus, as with the PhotoStory project, students learn how to work with digital media: logistics, legalities, and design considerations to complete the project.
For this slideshow, videos in full, and 40 pages of handouts. Please visit my website or the NCTE ning. It is my hope this introduction and samples inspire you and your students to work with Shakespeare and other texts in tandem with digital media.
Mini Video Documentaries <br />to Motivate Student Research <br />on Shakespeare<br />Charles Youngs<br />Bethel Park High School, PA<br />National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention 2009<br />
9th Grade <br />Research Paper on<br />Shakespeare<br />
Focus Questions<br />How can we borrow information<br />and re-present it <br />with our own thinking<br />via traditional and digital media?<br />NCTE Standard 4<br />Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. <br />NCTE Standard 8 <br />Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. <br />
Focus Questions<br />Who was Shakespeare? <br />What was his life like? <br />What did he do? <br />What’s so great?<br />NCTE Standard 1 <br />Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and . . . to acquire new information; . . . . Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. <br />
Focus Questions<br />How can we select textual details and effectively re-present them using audio-visual digital media?<br />NCTE Standard 8<br />Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. NCTE Standard 8<br />NCTE Standard 4 <br />Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. <br />
Focus Questions<br />What is emotional state<br />of the character <br />as represented in the text?<br />NCTE Standard 2<br />Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience. <br />
9 Soliloquies / Monologues<br />MACBETH<br /> 1.3Two truths are told<br /> 1.7If it were done when 'tis done<br /> 2.1 Is this a dagger which I see before me<br /> 3.1 To be thus is nothing<br /> 5.5 She should have died hereafter<br />LADY MACBETH<br /> 1.5 Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be<br /> 1.5 The raven himself is hoarse<br /> 5.1 Yet here's a spot. [ sleepwalking LMB lines only ]<br />BANQUO <br /> 3.1 Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all<br />
Music<br />Music tracks from “Distant Activity.” By Adam Fielding. Distant Activity. Available online at Magnatune.com. <br />Permission granted for educational, noncommercial use via Creative Commons Licensing.<br />
Additional Credits<br />“Rare Book Collection Interior 4.” By UBC Library Graphics. Flickr. 4 Apr. 2007. Web. 15 Sep. 2009. “Lens.” By Ixographic. Flickr. 2 Mar. 2008. Web. 15 Sep. 2009. “Attention.” By Juliana Coultinho. Flickr. 30 Aug. 2009. Web. 24 Sep. 2009. “On Target.” By Vizzzual.com. Flickr. 10 Jul. 2008.Web. 24 Sep. 2009. “How to Be an Expert.” By Alan Cleaver 2000. Flickr. 29 Mar. 2008. Web. 24 Sep. 2009. “Horned Owl.” By Zest -pk. Flickr. 22 Mar. 2002. Web. 24 Sep. 2009. Used by permission CC.<br />“Fixed Bicykcle Sprocket.” By Lou Piote. Flickr. 28 Apr. 2007. “Visual Representation of a Reading List (Detail).” By Marglove . Flickr. Marglove 27 Aug. 2007. “Inkblot.” By Brian Sawyer. Flickr. 26 Sep. 2004.. “Flickr-Repeat-With-Flower-Images.” By Mark Birbeck. Flickr. 8 Feb 2006. Used by permission CC.<br />