It’s amazing how much inspiration you can produce with just a couple of props.
This time around it was two flat-style palm trees that were left in our drama area after a storeroom cleanup.
We moved them onto the stage and improvised a series of ‘Pirate Island’ adventures, with an emphasis on ‘beginning / middle / end’ structure, or for the older students, ‘orientation / complication / resolution’.
Here are the assessment task sheets. I laminated mine so I can reuse them next year!
My first attempts at creating an animated visual of a journey (some 15 years ago) were laborious and frustrating and involved taking multiple screenshots of a small plane graphic as I moved it across a blurry background map.
My favourite though was the easy-as to use Tripline.
The web interface is easy to navigate, and creating an animated map is straightforward:
Create an account. (Facebook login is an option)
Create a new map.
Add waypoints and locations. (Click on the map, search by name or add by decimal point latitude / longitude)
Add descriptions and photographs. (The photo upload is VERY well implemented)
Share your map. (I’ve added Tripline to our school website and Facebook page).
The completed project is slick, thoughtfully designed and presented and a easy for the casual user to use.
I’d highly recommend this online resource for classroom use. With the only downside being the registration requirements, Triplien could easily find a place in Geography and History lessons mapping out migration patterns, historic journeys or imaginary trips. The diary interface also suggests use in literacy lessons, whilst the ability to export distances suggests use in numeracy work.
You probably won’t need much hand-holding, but there are some excellent resources available:
The 360Cities site requires Flash, so there’s no visiting on your iPad! Fortunately, there is an app, and since it allows you to make your own panoramas, it’s excellent value.
Panoramas are user uploaded, so popular tourist sites are over-represented and some places have none at all. That aside, my quick sampling (birth place in UK, recent trip to New Zealand, Canada and interest in Easter Island) all turned up useful views.
And of course, your students could make their own too!
Search query: Complete with your topic of choice. Be specific here, otherwise you may be overwhelmed!
Result type: Are you after News? Blogs? Videos? Discussions? Books? You can also choose Everything to be sure!
How often: Choose from “As it happens’, ‘Once a day’ or ‘Once a week’
How many: Two choices here – ‘Only the best results or ‘All results’
Deliver to: Your email address.
I’m currently writing a musical based on Rapa Nui (or Easter Island).
Here’s the alert I set up and a sample of the responses I received.
Google Alert form example
I’ve found the system excellent. Just two days in, I received an alert about the final stages of an expedition that paddled a traditional outrigger around the Polynesian ‘triangle’ of New Zealand / Hawaii / Easter Island. Then I received an alert on an update to 360Cities with panoramic walk rounds of the Rano Raraku quarry where the stone heads were carved. Two very useful stories within one week!
YouTube is a huge resource for teachers and especially so for those in the areas of Music, Multi Media and Drama.
I came across the video ‘Forward’ after following a Reddit link. The clip features music by Fred V and Grafix with video by Messe Kopp.
The concept is simple; have your principal actor walk through a scene backwards. When finished, reverse the footage and add your music.
I showed this to a range of year levels. I explained to them there was only one ‘special effect’, and asked if they could work out what it was. Some of the responses were quite entertaining! The clip certainly caught their attention, as all classes wanted to watch it again! It was also intriguing to hear their thoughts on where it was filmed. After some hints (look at the signs, headwear) students worked out the Middle East, then Jerusalem.
We then bounced around ideas for filming our own version. With the weather still warm students were keen to try out the water effect and one group immediately saw the potential for the playground swings.
We started with a whole-class version. Two students were chosen as the ‘walkers’ and the rest of the class positioned themselves strategically along a path from the front of the school to our Performing Arts Centre. We attached the Flip Video to a tripod and balanced it on a furniture trolley for stability. The trolley was then pushed keeping pace with the students walking backwards.
Safety is obviously a concern when people can’t see where they’re going. We had a spotter (outside of the view of the camera) and I made sure nobody was falling off the trolley.
Once filmed, we downloaded the video onto our Windows 7 PCs and used the excellent VideoPad video editor to reverse the video. (If you use VideoPad, right click the clip in the timeline > ‘Change Clip Speed’ > Tick box ‘Play Clip In Reverse’)
The results were impressive, with some very ordinary actions producing totally unexpected results. Throwing jumpers or hats to the ground was especially impressive, as were any leaps or jumps.
Students then formed small groups and recorded footage of their own which we edited and presented to a whole school assembly.
At its most basic, a drumkit rock rhythm can have just just four components: a snare drum hit on beats 2 and 4, a bass drum hit on beats 1 and 3.
The pdf poster features eight variations on this idea, each adding a slightly more complex hi-hat pattern or bass-drum variation.
The bass drum is coloured red, the snare green and the hi-hat blue.
Small groups of students can play these patterns together. Allocate one student to the bass / snare pattern and a second to the hi-hat pattern. The hi-hat pattern can also be duplicated on the ride cymbal and (lightly) on the bell of the crash cymbal.
Before playing the patterns on the kit, have students practice using their hands and feet while sitting on chairs. Rehearse the counting patterns, particularly for the two last rhythms with the more complex bass pattern.
The first chart in each set lists five rights children have as students. The second chart lists the relevant responsibilities these create. The third chart lists ten class rules that will help safeguard students’ rights and guide their responsibilities.
I use adaptations in my Drama and Music areas.
Music: ‘Listen while others speak or perform’, ‘Applaud performances’. “treat the Music Area with respect’
Drama: ‘Listen while others speak or perform’, ‘Applaud performances’. “treat the Drama Area with respect’
Good manners don’t just happen; they’re explicitly taught. usually by a child’s family.
And if the child hasn’t been taught good manners? Then we need to make them aware of why, where and how to use them.
This set of three free-posters suggest four reasons why ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’ should be a part of everyone’s vocabulary, our’s included. And it also provides the phrases in six other languages. How many can your students pronounce and identify?