Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To appreciate Mom!

Quick and simple ways to create, publish and share on the web absolutely abound these days...and this means opportunity for our students to use language in a functional way and connect with an audience- even if it's just their moms.  Animoto is a great resource to make brief videos that combine music, images, text and animation.  They often offer "greeting cards" around specific holidays, including one for Mother's Day.  We used this tool in lieu of traditional snail-mail holiday cards this past year!

Click through to the link above and select make a 30-second greeting for free. You will need to register for a free account, but will then be able to make multiple greeting cards and share via email.

The Animoto tool is quite easy to use, and it prompts you to add imagery, select music, and finalize.

I would recommend keeping it really simple and using imagery from Animoto's collection, opting for music besides the recommended selection only if there is time, etc. If you don't have multiple laptops at your disposal, or are worried that you wouldn't be able to divide your attention across kids at multiple laptops, it would also be a good idea to do a group "To our Moms" card.  The product is so novel and cool, I doubt they would mind! Once the movie is complete, you will receive an email and can forward to the appropriate mom.

Language Lens
  • You can use Animoto with any language target you choose- listing reasons to appreciate mom, using causals, adjectives to describe mom, feeling words, etc.  A student of mine today produced this example, after we discussed the word character, used a bank of character traits to make a list appropriate to describe his mom, chose pictures and associated them to the traits.  The whole thing took 20 min!
  • Activities such as these are always good opportunities to develop perspective taking skills; what does Mom do that you should be thankful for?

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