The grade 6 classes have just finished looking into various NGOs/NPOs in our Sharing the Planet unit. As a final task, the students had to create a multimedia campaign to create awareness for their chosen organization. As an added bonus, my teaching partner and I decided that we would award the winning group 5000 yen to donate to their cause. As I thought about the final project for COETAIL Course 3 I decided to use this exercise as a starting point.
In the end, the UbD planner that I created (located after the image and video credits), reflects much of what the students were able to accomplish in a week, with suggestions for activities, exercises, and resources that I feel could strengthen the experience. As I typed out this project I had to consider which format would suit this idea best: UbD or the IB PYP planner. In the end I chose the UbD planner because I felt that this project could fit with multiple IB PYP transdisciplinary themes. By putting it in the UbD format it will make transferring this work between different UOI’s easier for me and anyone else who would like to try a similar project.
As the project unfolded the students worked incredibly hard on their presentations. My teaching partner and I were both impressed with the depth of the knowledge gained by the children in terms of presentation skills, technological skills, and the work of NGOs/NPOs. As students created their presentation each chose methods which best suited their comfort levels. Some made posters that immediately drew my eye, others made brochures, but two students stood out for me in terms of how they blurred technology with visual impact to create pieces that brought this teacher to tears.
One student in my class is extremely intuitive when it comes to visuals. As he works, he will typically come up to me only to ask permission to use something or if he needs help manipulating the technology in a way that works for him. For this particular assignment he took some pictures he found online and combined them in iMovie, added a musical track he made in Garage Band, and when he presented it, he gave a speech. The end effect was incredibly moving and demonstrated a deep understanding of the power of using multimedia to convey his message.
A student from my teaching partner’s class went above and beyond anything I was expecting. Like many students, she incorporated a movie that she made. As I watched the movie, I was brought to tears. It contained everything I had hoped for; facts, emotional impact, and a plea for an NGO/NPO. I was so impressed that I asked if I could put it up on YouTube. As I spoke to the parents, they were very grateful and appreciated the fact that I asked for permission. The video is included below edited with permission to include the original composition mentioned above.
After the students had seen each the work of their classmates, we asked them to discuss what they learned about presentations, multimedia, projects, and technology:
- Test your technology to make sure it works.
- Don’t read from your notes.
- Look your audience in the eye.
- Pictures can have a strong impact on emotion.
- Music can evoke strong emotions within people.
- The text you put up on a slide should be minimal.
- Having a personal connection with the cause can make your presentation more powerful.
As the projects completed were completed, I think back on the experience and what I have learned or ideas that have been reinforced from my students during this short week:
- Even in a short amount of time students can produce amazing work.
- Given an environment where they feel safe taking risks with their work, students will surprise you.
- Simply by allowing the students to play with technology, they are able to create meaningful pieces of work.
- Students are much more creative and attune to the importance of visuals then I was at their age.
- Something extremely simple can sometimes be the best piece of work.
Global Player by alles-schlumpf found on Flickr, Creative Commons License
Summative Assessment found on YouTube uploaded by Brendan Lea