Students will learn how to write an age appropriate book review. Then we will make a video of their book review in front of a green screen. We will replace the background with the cover of the book. Finally, we will post it on the website and make it available on Aurasma, so the videos will appear when you use a smartphone or tablet and train it on the book cover (or image of the book cover).
We live in an age where online reviews affect our buying decisions - whether it is purchasing something at Amazon.com, looking for a good movie to watch on Netflix, or looking for a good restaurant on Yelp. It's a good life skill for us to teach students how to write a good review. Book reviews are great because writing one is also helpful to others in the school (and beyond). The lesson can easily be targeted to the appropriate age group.
Here's an example from the first grade class of 2014-15. We ran out of time at the end of the year and didn't pre-write the book review, so I interviewed the students instead.
At a Glance
Grade Level: K+
Time Required: 60 minutes (broken up into segments)
Curriculum Connection: This project can be tied to language arts and library.
This same technique can be used to create a Chroma Key (green screen) video on any subject. For example, students can talk about a planet for science and you can have a backdrop of their planet. Or students can be talking about a food group and you can have a backdrop of the proper department at the grocery store.
For younger students
Adults do all the tech skills, but you can explain how you create a video, about Chroma Key, how the Chroma Key app works, etc.
For older students
You can decide which what parts of the process the older students can do for themselves. The Do Ink Green Screen app is very easy to use. Students should be able to do the entire process by 3rd or 4th grade (this is speculation and not based on experience).
Teach the students about book reviews. This needs to be tailored for each age group. Here is an excerpt from Bright Hub Education of a book review lesson plan for older students where they tie the lesson in with other language arts skills:
Before students can write a book review, you must introduce them to professionally written pieces. Take them to the computer lab and go to sites that have notable book reviews, like the New York Times or Barnes and Noble Review. If you do not have access to the internet, you can always clip reviews from magazines, like People or from the newspaper. Read several reviews as a class and discuss the format reviewers use when writing about a book. Be sure to point out that reviews provide a general summary, name major characters, introduce the major conflicts in the story, and give either a positive, negative, or neutral opinion of the work. Good reviews will never reveal the resolution to the conflict, so encourage them to avoid giving away the ending!
You can simplify this lesson for younger students. For example, in 1st grade we told them to pick out their favorite book. Because all the opinions will be positive, we talked about how the book review is like a "commercial" where you are trying to get others to read it. You should start off with a "hook", something that will get people's attention. Then talk a little about the story and characters and finish with why you think others should read it.
When making the video with the first grade, we used an "interview" style to help the kids stay on track. We asked them the following questions:
The classroom teacher should reinforce what was taught in library and what they want to emphasize from language arts skills.
Have the students complete the Book Review template. Explain to them they should use large handwriting so it can be read from a distance when they are making the video.
Review and edit their book review.
This step can be done in the library, computer class, or integrated into the classroom.
Students should practice reciting their book review.
If you are using Do Ink Green Screen app, use your iPad to record the student's book review. This will make it easier to import the video into the app.
If you hold the written book review near the iPad (or video camera), the student will appear to be looking at the screen rat
Save an image of the book cover onto your Camera Roll. This will end up being the background image for the video.
Use Do Ink Green Screen app to create the video. See Do Ink Green Screen Basics YouTube tutorial video below.
Teachers will need to create an age appropriate assessment for this project.