I had my class try a new style of presentations called Common Craft Style Presentation for my digital literacy project. Common Craft Style is a video presentation in which the narrator uses pictures and a script to explain a concept. My students had finished a research unit of opinion writing and I thought they could turn what they had written into a Common Craft Style Video.
By visiting Commoncraft you can find out more about this style of video presentations. I did not subscribe to the website because of the pricing. A subscription will gain you access to thousands of cutouts to use in your presentation. Since I teach 5th grade, I was confident my students would be more than willing to make their own pictures to support their opinion essays.
Since my students already had worked hard on writing essays, they already had a script ready to go. For this particular assignment students were already in research groups. Students researched whether or not schools should have uniforms, if there should be zoos, if people should drink diet soda, and if schools should teach cursive writing.
I introduced this style of video presentation by showing a tutorial video I found on YouTube. Check it out by clicking here. Students were very excited to try it out. They quickly began planning what pictures they would use to support their essays. Once students knew what pictures they wanted to use I had them spend a week practicing reading and sliding pictures in and out. This part proved to be extremely helpful, not only for the presentation, but many students were making additional revisions to their essays because it was hard to read. For my students, hearing someone else struggle with their essays opened their minds to the revision stages of writing, which sometimes can be a challenge for my 5th graders.
Over the course of the week students collaborated to make their presentations. I have them posted below. I used my iPad camera app to record the presentations. I didn’t realize until after I published the video to YouTube that you can see the borders in our videos. This was something that was extremely hard to see using the iPad, since these borders do not show when viewing the video on the iPad.Perhaps using some type of video editor would work better next time. Nevertheless, I am happy to use these videos to show that using technology in the classroom takes patience and courage. My Common Craft Style Videos aren’t perfect, but I am proud of my students and myself for taking a risk at trying this type of presentation. What matters most is, my students had the chance to create something new and I am happy to have given them the opportunity.
Both my students and I really enjoyed making these presentations. I found that using the Common Craft Style Video Presentation was a great digital literacy tool. The only materials needed are a recording device, pictures, a script, patience, and a willingness to try something new! Some people can use it for a step by step narrative, or a descriptive video. It is amazing the things students will create if we just give them the chance to explore and create!
Here is the Should we Drink Diet Soda Common Craft Style Video
Here is the Should there be School Uniforms Common Craft Style Video
Here is the Should there be Zoos Common Craft Style Video