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Writing - MovieMaker_iMovie

Page history last edited by Caitlin Wuerth 8 years, 5 months ago


Writing in the Elementary Classroom Using iMovie

By Caitlin Wuerth





What is iMovie?


iMovie is an application that allows you to create and edit your own personal videos using video footage, pictures, sounds, text and graphics. Using “drag and drop” editing techniques, importing video footage, pictures and text into your movie is simple, engaging and thought-provoking. iMovie can be made increasingly more complex, depending on what features you are interested in implementing into your video. Likewise, it can be a much more simple display of videos already recorded on a phone, camera or video camera with simple text added in to make it appear more “Hollywood-esque!” Not only does iMovie have numerous educational implications, it is also a fun way for students to organize their media both inside and outside of the classroom. By creating their own movie, their sense of ownership over their work increases dramatically and they are able to gain a sense of pride that they can share with their friends and families whenever they desire. iMovie is designed for Mac computers! To learn about how to make videos on Windows computers, I suggest looking into Movie Maker. With newer computers (within the last 5 or so years), iMovie is installed onto the computer when purchased. With older Mac computers, it can be purchased through Apple, Inc.   

To see a short, introductory video on iMovie and how it works, click here and proceed to click on, "Watch the iMovie video."


How do you use iMovie?


It is important to note that iMovie will assuredly need some instruction prior to students beginning with their work. Following are general directions regarding the use of iMovie:


Step 1: Open the iMovie icon and begin a new project.




Step 2: Select Your Theme



Step 3: Select videos and/or photos (note: if you do not have video footage, you can take video footage while creating your iMovie, as long as you have a camera on your computer)! It is important to note, however, that video is OPTIONAL. It can all be pictures (either taken by you or located via the Internet), words and audio. 



Step 4: Once photos (or video) have been selected and dragged to the boxes on the screen, select the order you want them to appear in (from left to right). 



Step 5: As you can see in the screen shot above, the photos on the left of the screen are in order (how they will appear when the video plays). The green box above the first photo (highlighted in yellow) is where you enter your text. For this project I am creating, I will title it "My 21st Birthday." To add additional text, you simply click on the T button located next to the camera image on the right hand side of the screen (highlighted in the image below), select how you want your text to appear, and drag your "text style" over your image(s) or video(s). 


Step 6: Once your have inserted your text, you need to decide how long you want each image (and corresponding text) to appear on the screen before the video transitions to the next image (or video clip). To do this, double click the image (or text) and type in how many seconds you want it to appear on the screen. For the second image (pictured below), I will select 8 seconds. NOTE: The text box located above the image can be made longer or shorter depending on whether you want the text to appear for the same amount of time as the image. This can be edited by dragging the box to make it shorter or longer. 



Step 7: Now that you understand how to upload pictures, videos and texts, lets work with sound clips! Sound clips can be recorded directly through iMovie, uploaded from a cell phone or other recording device, accessed through iTunes if you are looking for songs, or sound effects already pre-downloaded onto iMovie can be used. To do this, rather than selecting T from the icons on the left (like we did for text), we are going to select the first icon, which is the music note. Once that has been clicked, we can select what kind of audio we want to add to our movie. For this movie, I will add sound effects already available on the iMovie program. Once your "sound" has been selected, drag it over your image/video/text just like you did in the previous steps with your text!




Step 8: So far, we have gone through how to upload video, pictures, text and sound. Now, we want to determine how to add transitions so that when our movie plays, it is not choppy! To do this, we click on the little icon that is directly next to the T icon we used earlier to insert text. The "transition" icon looks similar to an envelope and is selected in the screen shot below. Select a transition, and drag it in between each of your images (or video footage). You can use different transitions for each picture/video if you choose! Also, you can select the duration of your transitions, too! Below, I have chosen the "cross dissolve" transition and inserted it in between my first two images. 



Step 9: You are almost done understanding the basics of how to create your own iMovie! Now, you want to understand how to insert backgrounds and animatics. To do this, select the globe icon (which is located next to the transitions icon). Select which background and/or animatic you would like to use, and drag it over to where you would like it to appear in your video. For this video, I am selecting the "watercolor map" and inserting it in between my second and third images. My plan is to show the map beginning in Greeley, CO and show my destination as Las Vegas, Nevada because that is where I went for my 21st Birthday. 


Step 10: Now that you have inserted everything you want into your iMovie, click on the very beginning of your video (your first image/video), and press the space key on your keyboard to watch your video from beginning to end! Make any changes as you see fit using the directions listed above. Have fun!


Educational Implications for iMovie:


There are numerous ways that iMovie can be used in the classroom. Some of the ways in which it can be integrated into the various curriculum areas include the following:


-Social Studies

     *Geography (show the flight path of Amelia Earhart using interactive globes and images)

     *History (bring a historical figure "to life" through images from his/her time period, interactive timelines, and music from their lifetime)

     *Economics (show charts of supply and demand, make apparent the economies of countries throughout the world)

     *Civics (make a video about morals - what is right and wrong including anexplanation)


     *Have students create their own videos of base-ten blocks or showing various ways of displaying the same problem using virtual manipulatives.


     *Reading (Make books come to life! Have students read their favorite book and record it then insert pictures of them reading the book and images from the book itself)

     *Communication (Have students practice their oral speaking skills by recording themselves interviewing others and creating a video out of their interview).


     *Allow students to create their own video using the artwork they created and let them insert text explaining what their piece of art means.


With all of the above curriculum integrations, it is important to notice how writing can and should be used with all of them! However, iMovie has wonderful potential for helping students bring their own pieces of writing to life. A way for iMovie to be used cohesively with writing includes:


1) Have students engage in the writing process (through independent writing, writers' workshop, etc.).

2) Allow students to break their writing piece into "brackets" and have them use each bracket in a different box in iMovie (so that each text bracket is in the video). 

3) Allow students to insert images, videos, audio and animatics to bring their story to life. Encourage them to "electronically illustrate" their video as their characters would!

4) Let students show their video-writing creations with the class using a projector so all students can enjoy one anthers written videos.

5) Have fun and get creative!!!


Additional Note: If students are too young or are in the beginning processes of their writing or video creation skills, it is important to note that teachers can create videos for their students! Rather than giving a lecture or explaining how to do something, actually show them and let them really engage in what they are learning about through real-life video footage.


Resources to further assist you in iMovie:


This website offers information regarding the usage of iMovie in the classroom (why it is popular and other potential ways of utilizing it):



Below is the link to the Apple page, where iMovie is described in greater depth:



This website, which is only Part I or II explains iMovies educational implications. The philosophy of this website is quoted using John Dewey's words, "if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow" :



Here is the second part of the link from above (Part II of II). Rather than quoting John Dewey, they quote a Chinese Proverb that reads: "Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time":



This is a phenomenal website that provides a list of 11 ways that iMovie can be implemented into the classroom in meaningful and authentic ways (for example, film your students doing a play!):



Last, here is a video actually created by 2 students for a project given to them by their teacher. This video is about Jackson Pollack and shows the incredible abilities students have to create their own videos for educational purposes!



The images used at the top of this page were retrieved from the following sites (in order of appearance from left to right):













Comments (1)

Caitlin Wuerth said

at 4:26 pm on Jun 8, 2012

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