Making a video is fun! I enjoy the creative process of putting the video project together. I also love the feeling of satisfaction when the project is completed.
Making a video can be a great homeschool project. You are limited only by your imagination. Since I am an art teacher, I have assigned my students to make hand drawn animations, biographies of famous artists, and “how to” videos on various art techniques.
Think of all the history a student could learn making a video about an historical figure, war or time period. Imagine your child making a video about photosynthesis or how to solve an algebra equation. Maybe your child could make a video teaching how to make a sandwich in Spanish or first aid techniques. If your child is a sports fan, they might enjoy making a video about the history and rules of baseball. They could even demonstrate basic skills needed to play the sport. Your child can make a video about anything!
Not only will your child learn about the subject the video is about, but they will also learn about organization, computer technology and photography skills. Students will begin to understand what is involved in putting together a video. They will find that there are many things to do before getting to the movie-making part. They will find that in order to make a video, research on the subject needs to be done and a basic script needs to be written. Students will also become more observant of filming techniques. You will be amazed how your child will notice transitions and special effects as they watch television and movies.
If you are going to give your child a video project assignment make sure you have the equipment needed. You will need the following:
- Digital Camera, Camcorder, or Scanner
- Movie Making Software
- Ability to download photographs or video to computer.
The movie making software that I use came with my computer. It is Windows Movie Maker. I think most computers come with this software. I know it comes with Windows XP and Windows Vista. The software is pretty easy to understand. The way I have learned the software is by trial and error. I push buttons to see what happens, but I know that may not be for everyone. Windows Movie Maker has many websites that give tutorials. Click here to see one of those sites.
To begin your child will need to collect images for the video and download them to the computer. Make a folder with your child’s project name. This is where the script, all the images, audio, and video will be saved. For your child’s first project, I suggest keeping the project small, maybe two or three minutes long. You will be amazed how long it takes to put together a 5 minute video.
When your child opens Movie Maker they will click File/New Project. This is where they will name their project. They need to remember to save their project every minute or so as they are working. There is nothing more frustrating than to work on something for a long time and lose it because the computer freezes or the power goes off.
I have to say that movie making software is notorious for freezing up. So, if it happens, don’t think it is something you did. I know that Movie Maker doesn’t respond well if you tell it to do things too quickly. When computer software doesn’t react immediately, most people have a habit of clicking again to hurry it up. That will not work with Movie Maker. You will cause the software to freeze. It is better to go slowly with patience.
Slowly with patience is a good mantra. The process of learning how to make a video might seem a little overwhelming. For that reason, I will close my article today at this point.
Next Monday, I will post Part Two of A Great Homeschool Project – Making a Video. Please come back. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions or make comments. I am definitely not an expert, but I am pretty good about finding the answers to things.