After my class finished reading the TPRS Publishing novel Esperanza and were working on their final projects, I spent some time playing around with an iPad and ended up making a video for chapter 1.
The most useful aid in comprehension for my own students had been the Audio Book that we listened to as students followed along in their books. This was my first time using the book and perhaps there were a few parts that I could have done a better job in making sure all students had full comprehension of the events in the chapter. One way to aid in comprehension is to make your own “movie” of the events of the book. You can also use this technique for ANY story you tell in class and we are going to tell you how.
I made the following movie to go over the events of chapter 1 of Esperanza. As a teacher, you could make a movie for each chapter of a novel to aid in comprehension and provide additional input, or have the students make a movie to show their understanding of the chapter. Please note: If using a published work, it is against copyright to upload them to the internet. We have obtained written permission to post this video as an example on how to make movies:
Ch.1 excerpt from Esperanza by Carol Gaab, copyright © 2011
re-created and posted with permission from TPRS Publishing, Inc. https://tprstorytelling.com/products-page/featured-novels/esperanza/
Ok, so how can you make your own video?
- I used the FREE app Explain Everything on an iPad. It took me about 40 minutes to make the video you see above as it was my first time and I was getting the hang of the app. On another chapter, it only took me 30 minutes. So, it is a bit time consuming, but once you get the background work done, putting it all together isn’t that hard.
- Get your images ready. You’ll need a background image. You’ll need images of characters. I saved these to my google drive and then while using the app, you can import them. Also, if you are having students working on a project, you can share images with them to save time.
- To make sure you don’t have white squares around the images you will want to make sure the images are .PNG files. If not, and you are not an expert in Photoshop, I recommend the free online photo editor, Pixlr, to remove the background. Here’s a easy tutorial on how to that.
- If you are using the same background for multiple scenes, or even the same character set up, I suggest duplicating that slide. On any duplicate slides you can add any additional images or text.
- Once you have all your scenes set up, start at the first scene and record. As you are narrating, you can move the images around on the screen. For example you may want to slightly move the characters that are talking. You can hit pause if you want to move on to the next scene or add in any additional images during that slide.
- Advance to the next slide and continue. If you make a mistake while recording, you can record over the recording at any point or just start at the beginning.
- To watch your movie from the start, go to the first slide, and hold the play button until the “golden play” button appears.
- If you like what you see, export as a movie. You can export easily to a google drive. You can even upload to Youtube (again, make sure not to violate copyright). If you need more time, you can save the project and work on it at a later time.
Again, if you create your own class stories, this is a perfect option to give your students a visual while providing them with additional repetitions of input. Maybe you act out the story in class one day and the second day they watch the video. Or you can have students retell the story. To save time, you might want to have all the images ready to go in a google drive folder and share that folder with students (have them copy it into their own drive). This way they are spending time on the narrating part and not on searching for images.
Other ways to use Explain Everything:
-Have students narrate a process. I’ve used a similar app called Educreations to have students explain the steps in a recipe.
-Some teachers have used these apps as a way to “Flip the classroom” where students will watch a video at home and then come in class the next day to discuss.
If you make a video and would like to share with other teachers, please share a link in the comments below. If we get enough, we could get another database going of CI/TPRS stories to use as lessons.
Or if you have any questions about the process, let us know and we’d be happy to help answer them.