Introducing a literacy unit

Being a digital leader I wanted to use  my placement as an opportunity to put in to practice some of the new skills I have learned during my digital literacy sessions at university and see how these could have a positive impact in the classroom.  I was teaching a year 1 class and I decided to use iMovie to create an exciting hook for  our literacy focus; writing an information text.With the help of my daughter who posed as ‘Penny the Explorer’ I made a short  film (see above)  in which Penny asked the children to help her with her mission to create some animal fact files to publish in her new book. The children were so excited to watch the movie which mentioned their class name  as we commenced the new topic.Creating the character Penny really engaged the children with their task, the children all wanted to help Penny  and were motivated to  find out lots of interesting facts for Penny’s book. I also used the video to introduce our new class mascot Terry the Toucan who proved a big hit with the children and was used during many of our rain forest lessons across the curriculum.Following the success of  my initial video , seeing how it had motivated and engaged the children in literacy, I built on this momentum by  editing  the video to make an additional clip to set a challenge for maths. This time Terry had broken his wing and Penny was asking the children to use their doubling and halving skills  to make him a special medicine. Because i had already made the original clip it took very little time for me to edit  and add content to create a new video. iMovie is such a versatile tool to enhance a creative classroom with endless possibilities to be integrated across the curriculum. I would recommend all teachers to  familiarise themselves with the software, it is very easy to navigate with a little practice and  of course, a tool that the children can use too!

by Gemma Wade

Out of this world


Using green screen techniques to film in unusual places.

Suitable for

All ages who can use a camera on a digital device.

What you need

A green screen, green wall, or green backing paper.

An iPad with the app GreenScreen DoInk or Touchcast.

iMovie or Moviemaker for editing.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 23.00.51

What you do

Explain that you can use the green screen to be anywhere in a virtual sense: back in time, as large as a giant or as small as an insect.  Use this idea to explore an environment from a different point of view by taking photos from unusual perspectives or researching the history of a place and using as the background for an interview or narration.

Learning Benefits

Participants gain experience of team working and of exploring an environment from different points of view. They use images to portray feelings and create a memorable video as a talking point to come back to.

Taking it Further

Edit the films in iMovie to add sound effects, music and transitions.

Create an iMovie Trailer using a movie genre. Explore different perspectives of an environment through different film templates such as romance or adventure that include graphics and theme music as a backdrop for your own video and photos.