I’ve often thought about creating instructional videos, but I am one of those people who are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE in front of a camera. I was less nervous when I jumped out of an airplane than I am every time I stand in front of a microphone. That being said, nothing will give you a good push like coming back to work after a week off due to a sprained knee. I was going to be on crutches for a few weeks (I still am), and I had to figure out how to teach without standing at the board or sitting on the floor. I wanted to come up with a project that was K-3 appropriate to get me through the week. Just at the right moment, I saw a post on the Art of Ed that reminded me of an oldie but goodie project inspired by the poem Bleezer’s Ice Cream.
First, I found a video on YouTube to help introduce the poem:
Then, I rewrote my own abbreviated version and played around with stop motion animation. It’s still a little awkward but gets the point across:
A short video with directions followed:
Even though the directions talked about drawing ice cream, I always try to include elements of choice in my projects. Students were told that if they weren’t in the mood for ice cream, they could create flavors of cupcakes, donuts, or just about anything that they could illustrate with 3 or more flavors. What I really wanted them to do was practice sketching lightly to build up their compositions and then add value and texture. Most students stuck with the ice cream theme, but we had quite a few bakeries and sweet shops as well. During the second class, a few second graders had time to write and record a poem. I had a template for them to follow, but one student wanted to sing a song instead…
Overall this turned out to be a great experience for me for a number of reasons:
- I realized how much easier it is for students to see the demo when is it projected on a large screen.
- As they watched the videos, I had two whole magical extra minutes to set up their supplies. What I wouldn’t give to have those two minutes more often.
- This turned out to be a two day project and a few students were absent on day 1. Instead of ignoring the rest of the class while I got them caught up, I was able to just play the videos again (so helpful!)
- Once the videos are done, I have them forever. No need to reinvent the wheel each year.
- It got me to step outside my comfort zone. Now I’m so excited about prerecording my demos that I’ve got three in the works for next week. Stay tuned…