We bet most of you haven’t thought of implementing a green screen in your classroom, but they are a must-have for teachers! It’s absolutely the classroom tech tool you didn’t know you needed but will love having once you do. With a green screen, you have so many opportunities for allowing your kids to record videos with different backgrounds. Imagine letting them do a current events report, create a commercial, or teach other students about a piece of curriculum.
We wanted to see how teachers would use a green screen and incorporate it into their lessons. So, we sent them this STEM Green Screen Production Kit, which comes with one backdrop cloth (9’ x 60″), one USB webcam (720p HD w/ built-in microphone), and editing software. Then we let them take it from there! We sent no rules or instructions, but they came up with creative ways to let their students get in on the fun. Here are the results.
Creating a Classroom Commercial
Katie Chamberlin is a K-8 computer teacher in Arlington, Massachusetts. When her third grade students discovered they’d be using a green screen, they were beyond excited. A few students even jumped up and down! Once they settled, she tasked her students to create a “Day in the Life of a 3rd Grader” commercial.
“My students needed to think about how to communicate their daily schedule in a short video,” Chamberlin says. “I split students into pairs and each group was given a timeframe during the day (morning routines, lunch, recess, etc.).” The students then wrote out 15-second scripts to use when recording with the camera.
Chamberlin revealed that the camera was slick and transportable, and the entire kit was compact, making it perfect for teachers to store in the classroom. The included software was easy to download and both Windows and PC compatible.
A New Spin on a Reading Unit
John Cox, Allyson Caudill, and Ashley Blackley are a team that co-teach first and second grades in Raleigh, North Carolina. They decided to implement the green screen at the end of a reading unit. They tasked their students with a project involving the green screen. The goal was to create a presentation to demonstrate their understanding of the interconnectedness of our ecosystem, specifically in regard to pollination.
“Rather than sticking with the normal written report or poster board, we challenged students to type up their work before recording themselves with green screen technology,” they said. “We decided to use Google Classroom as the platform for students’ work because this was easy to input when it came to recording time.”
Their class consists of 23 second graders, with 18 students identified as English Language Learners. With that in mind, they provided structure and support for the assignment. They identified five sections to be recorded: Introduction to the plant, introduction to the pollinator, a description of the pollination process, connecting the pollinator to the plant, and a conclusion. The students drafted their work and then were able to use the provided scrolling feature to view the text they had written like a teleprompter.
Once the students started recording, they thought the process was simple and student-friendly. “The design and layout of the application are clearly designed with student interaction in mind.”
What projects would you implement? Plus, check out What Happens When You Give Kids a Pile of Cardboard and a STEM Cart.