The possibilities for using video in foreign language classes are endless. Acting out virtually any scenario can help with whichever topic you are studying, including both vocabulary and grammar. For example, if you’re learning the past tense, have students record themselves telling a specific story, like the time they lost their first tooth. For the future tense, have them talk about their weekend plans. This is also a great project for assessments as a substitute for a test. Of course, students don’t only need to learn how to write in a new language, but also how to speak it.
Have students act out the plot of books, taking the idea of the reader’s theater to the next level. This doesn’t just work for early readers, but even high school students, acting out the works of Shakespeare, for example. One advantage of doing this as opposed to acting the scene out as a class with just a few people acting as characters is that by splitting into groups everyone gets to be involved.
Social Studies is all about stories. For younger students, use a green screen to travel back to a different time and place.
When studying historical figures, students can “interview” figures from the past, anyone from the Biblical Abraham to Abraham lincoln. Another application to the interview video is social movements. For example, have someone act as a first wave feminist and another as a second-wave feminist, and have them answer questions about their goals and ideologies to compare and contrast.
Acting out word problems is a great way for students to conceptualize them. For example, speed, time, and distance problems can be acted out. Two students can walk towards each other and actually see how long it will take them to collide. Not only will actually making the video help them think through the problem visually but watching the videos later can help as a study tactic as well.
One teacher told us she used the Padcaster for her middle school science class when they were studying planets. The students made travel advertisements encouraging people to go visit their planet using a green screen, broadcasting from the planet. They talked about the various properties of their assigned planet, including weather patterns, resources, etc.
This idea can be applied to various topics in science. Other examples include selling a type of animal as a pet for elementary life sciences, or an element for chemistry.
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