Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Makerspace - Green Screen Project with 4th graders

A fourth grade teacher and I collaborated together to have the students create green screen videos as a culmination of their weather unit. In the classroom, the teacher grouped students into 4 teams and each team had to write a script, collect props, and practice what they would do for the recorded video.
When the students came to the media center, I did the filming over two days, with one hour set aside each day. While I worked with one team, the next team would be practicing and making any final changes. The other two teams used the media center’s computers for additional research and rotated through centers the teacher provided. The classroom teacher and my media assistant provided supervision of these students.
We used the makerspace for this project, incorporating the green screen, an iPad, and the app Green Screen by Do Ink. This was the first time I’d used the green screen for any projects, so I was excited and a little nervous that it wouldn’t turn out that great. The built-in tutorial for the app didn’t really answer all my questions, so I found this video tutorial that was quite helpful: https://youtu.be/LWAHxtpPp24
Basically, you need to have an image for the background to replace the green screen. This could be a photo that you take, a photo you upload from one of the databases the school subscribes to, or even taking a photo of a drawing a student has created.  Then you film the students – either directly in the green screen app or upload from your iPad camera roll. You then save the file and it magically creates the video for you.
Something to consider if you are doing this – make sure students know what image (or images) they want to use for their background. For some teams finding the background image took longer than the filming process. We didn’t adjust the chroma key at all, and for the most part it worked without issue. There are a few areas where you could see a green outline or you could see part of the background through a person, but we were fine with it.
All in all, the videos turned out great and the kids had a blast. An added bonus is now I have a real live example to show other teachers and a teacher and  a class full of students talking about the project. I'm already working with another grade level to create their own green screen videos. 
I’ve posted the links below for your viewing pleasure!
Let me know if you've tried using a green screen with your students and what app or software you've used. Did you have success? Any tips to share? 
Wishing you health and happiness!

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