3rd Grade Digital Fiction Production – February

Rhys met with the 3rd grade teachers today to design a curriculum-based project using iMovie and the Internet. Below are notes from the meeting, and a quick outlilne of the project. We will post a more detailed lesson plan on this site after the first meeting, and keep notes about the experience using comments.


  • Through this portion of the year there has been no project-based Technology use in the classroom, due to the focus on test prep. Technology use has been mainly for Internet browsing and games.
  • Classes are about to start working on Fiction units
  • We talked through the teachers feeling about the importance of students learning technological skills, like keyboarding, and Internet use, as well as learning responsible behavior on the Internet, and the critical ability to understand that TV, movies, and other media come from authors like them with a main idea they are trying to communicate.


  • Classes will start with a group/shared writing piece that they will adapt into a digital slide show with narration using iMovie
  • We need to send out and collect release forms (should be done schoolwide)
  • I will post a lesson plan on the staff blog that teachers and I will respond to with notes on anything we learn during the process
  • Following the iMovie project, Rhys will work with the teachers on blogging, and introduce blog commenting and posting to the kids


The project will start with group writing, that will be completed by next Friday (2.1).

On Friday 2.1, Rhys will come into the class and we will build an iMovie together based on the story Lon Po Po using a laptop and projector.

We will start by reading the story, and deciding what images would help an audience connect with the story, drawing “storyboards”. Then we’ll download images from the Internet based on the key points in the story and save them in our iPhoto library. The next step will be to record students reading narration for the story in iMovie. The last step is to drag the images from the “Photos” tab in iMovie to the “timeline” and line them up with the narration. These are the basics. We can add music, sound effects and transitions if there is time.

The next meeting (2.8) will be to start storyboarding the class’ collaboratively written fiction story, and planning how we will capture the necessary images.

3 thoughts

  1. In our first class meetings today we did a shared writing to create a script for a “preview” or commercial for the book, “Lon Po Po”, then we searched for images to match our writing on Safari using Google Images. We control/clicked on the images we found to “Save to iPhoto Library”, then opened iMovie.

    In iMovie we used the “Photos” panel, which showed the photos we’d just saved in iPhoto, and “Audio” panel, where we recorded narration.

    Students came up one-by-one, pressed record, and read their narration aloud onto the iMovie timeline. Then they pulled the photo that matched the narration the best from the “Photos” panel and dragged and dropped it onto the iMovie timeline above the voice track they’d just recorded.

    Below is a sample script from our shared writing:

    Writing Goal: Persuade an our audience to read Lon Po Po
    Audience: Kids at PS 130, and other kids on the Internet

    Lon Po Po is about a werewolf trying to get into a house with 3 kids to eat them. If you like disgusting things, you should read this book. The end of this book is really disgusting, but we don’t want to tell you what happens because we don’t want to ruin it for you. You have to read the book to know how it ends.
    I dare you to read this book!

    Next Step
    Classes will finish their scripts for their Lon Po Po Preview narration
    Classes will start writing their fiction scripts for our next movie
    Rhys will visit next week (2.8) to finish the Lon Po Po previews and talk about the fiction scripts

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