Screen it

I’ll admit, initially I did it for selfish reasons.

I started a movie club at school during lunchtimes last year for students from Prep to Grade 6. I wanted them to have opportunities to develop skills, explore their creativity and build qualities such as resilience and persistence. But mostly, I found it hard to completely let go of my previous ICT teaching role and I wanted to have an excuse to continue to tinker with technology teaching.

The premise of movie club was for students to create movies to enter in the ACMI Screen It competition and I had assumed it would ignite interest in some of our Grade 3 – 6 students. What I wasn’t expecting was the response from our Prep to Grade 2 students who were really keen, full of ideas and very motivated to create movies. To start with, we played with stop motion animation and green screens, getting to grips with the benefits and limitations of each. Then it was time for the serious business.

Over the course of 3 terms last year, a small but determined group of Grade 1-2 students storyboarded, scripted then acted and, after all that effort, produced 2mins 44secs of brilliance. It’s not quite Oscar material but I’m really proud of what they produced. More importantly, I’m in awe of their persistence in pushing me to turn up every lunchtime as the competition deadline got closer. And of their organisation in ensuring that costumes & sets were completed and at school on the right day, without any intervention from me.

Most importantly, it changed my thinking about what students are capable of producing at all ages and stages of learning. Never again will I doubt that younger students are just as able to produce high quality and innovative work as older students.

When has your thinking been challenged about what students are capable of?

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