By ELIZABETH FINCH
Ever been afraid to step out of your comfort zone? Standing in front of a camera and videoing myself, surely makes me uncomfortable, knowing I have to go back and watch myself. But, stepping up and standing out of my comfort zone, took me into the horizons of creating a more engaged classroom. Never be afraid to try something new, the world is endless with opportunities.
Students, It’s Your Time To Work!
Students in third grade complete many novel studies over the course of the 180 day school year. How do I keep students engaged? Allow them to be a part of the story. Get the students hands on. Near the end of the school year, students read Matilda written by Ronald Dahl. We always have the discussion if the students would like Miss Trunchbull to be their headmistress. Most of them say, “NO! OF COURSE NOT! WE WANT YOU!” As the story comes to a close, students can get a chance to be a part of the story. How? They can be involved with a green screen.
Students will pick one scene or chapter out of the novel. They will then get to portray themselves are actual characters in the story. Students can be Matilda, Miss Honey, Miss Trunchbull, Lavender, Mr. Wormwood, Mrs. Wormwood, Bruce Bogtrotter, or Mrs. Phelps just to name a few. Students will then set up their green screen. What background would they want? Where is the setting? Then, students get to practice their acting.
Everything doesn't always work on the first try. I learned that the hard way with the Green Screen. As all the students’ practice recording and acting their scene out with one another, we will collaborate how to make our acting better. At the end of the unit with the students practicing, acting, and adding their final touches, we will take a day to watch the work that was done. Students will then be broken up and be allowed to visit other classrooms and show them the work that they composed. This will engage students in other classrooms and show their peers what they have been doing. Who doesn’t love showing their peers and bragging about something fancy we’ve done?
Students will be able to become hands on and prove to their audience the details of what happened in the novel, Matilda. Be engaged. Step out of the comfort zone. Take the chance. You never know the endless opportunities that are available, if you try.
Finch is a 3rd grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary in Somerset County Public Schools. Connect with Finch on Twitter at @RockingReaders.