Age Range: 5 to 11
During the last week of the school year, I set up a "Film Week" in my class which was a huge success.
At the start of the week, the children were asked to get into groups of three / four / five, and were told that by the end of the week, they will have made a film lasting about five minutes. Although they were asked to make films, they were also allowed to make TV programs (which could be based on programs which already existed, or could be new concepts made up by the children).
Lots of guidance was given and the children were asked to do the following things throughout the week:
- Decide the group of children they were working in.
- Decide on the type of film / TV program they were going to make (e.g. comedy, action, educational).
- Think about the content of the film - what was going to happen? which characters were going to appear?
- Write a script for the film / program, making sure that all children got a chance to speak.
- Think about the location of the film - in the classroom, in the playground?
- Make / find the necessary props which they would need to use.
- Think about sound effects and music - what do they need? how could they make / play the sounds?
- Titles and credits - these needed to be made to show viewers the name of the film, and the names of those involved in its production.
- Advertising - they also made posters to advertise their films.
They were all given a copy of the worksheets here (in PDF format , 500Kb approx) to give them some extra support and ideas.
When all of the above work had been completed, each group had a chance to record their film. I acted as camera man, and we managed to get all of the filming finished in one day (during break and lunch times, and at other spare times throughout the day). The films were then transferred onto a VHS overnight.
On the last day of the week, I set the classroom out like a cinema (rows of seats with no desks, curtains / blinds closed to make it dark, film posters around the room), with the TV and video in the middle of the room. We all then watched our films (while munching on popcorn!).
The week took a lot of planning from myself and the children, but it was well worth the effort. They were all very proud of their work, and had a great time making and watching the films they had made. We also had a permanent record of our work, which was a very nice way to finish off the school year.
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