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Kelli Etheredge, a teacher and mentor at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama, is onto something. Although Kelli teaches literature, her 'Poetry into Movies' unit is versatile enough to enhance any area of study. If you're looking for new ways to engage with your students, check out Kelli's lesson.
Kelli asks her students to analyze a poem, and then create a Windows Live Movie Maker video that shows the imagery, symbolism, and themes of that poem. This extra step lets students dive even deeper into their subject, producing projects that demonstrate their creativity and critical thinking skills. And they get to use digital media to do it!
To start, students choose a poet they want to learn more about, and then familiarize themselves with their life and work. This research helps them understand the poet's style and motivations.
Then Kelli prompts her students with the following questions to help them analyze aspects of their selected poem:
The students copy these questions into their personal OneNote notebooks, and then work with their partner(s) to answer all of the questions. Then they research images and music for their movie. Kelli's students also have flip cameras available to them for making their own short video clips.
Next, each team weaves their research, flip camera video clips, and copyright-free images and music into a vibrant, high-tech video, using Windows Live Movie Maker. Movie Maker is a movie and image-editing tool, available as a free download from www.explore.live.com. For instructions, see How to use Movie Maker.
As a final deliverable, each team creates a virtual poster using an online multimedia poster creation service. (Another option is to start a class blog using the free WordPress service and allow students to post their final projects there.)
And what good is a lesson if you can't assess it? Kelli has been generous enough to share her project rubric with us, so that you can quickly incorporate this lesson into your curriculum.
Note: This rubric does not define standards as they vary by state/country and change over time.
To see samples of her students' work, visit Mrs. Etheredge's Virtual Showcase. For additional information and ideas, check out the Windows Live Movie Maker Teaching Guide.
This is my third and final blog post about Kelli Etheredge's 10th grade World Literature class. If you didn't catch the other two posts, check out Students use OneNote to analyze haiku and tanka poetry and What's the verdict? Students put the Count of Monte Cristo on trial (video). These three posts are a collection of ideas from one teacher to another. Thank you, Kelli, for sharing your lesson plan and rubric with us!
Would you like to see more blog posts like this? Leave a comment to let us know.
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