Using green screening to enhance the curriculum in St Patrick’s & St Brigid’s PS

My final CPDL planning assistance for this term took place at St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s Primary School with Mrs Kennedy on Friday 23rd March. Unfortunately Mr Kinney couldn’t join us for the meeting, but I did get a chance to catch up with him before I left.

Green screen training with an iMovie refresher will be the focus of the CPDL session. Mrs Kennedy showed me a fantastic film about Fairtrade that she made with her pupils, in which the pupils talk about different aspects of Fairtrade while standing in front of relevant backgrounds, such as farms and shops. The green screen clips were seamlessly put together in iMovie and it was an interesting watch. We will show this film to the other teachers to help them understand how the Do Ink Green Screen and iMovie apps can be used together effectively.

As an icebreaker, Mrs Kennedy will start the hour-and-a-half-long CPDL by asking teachers for their opinions on films they have seen recently. This is a nice way to begin as it sets the tone for the rest of the session. The main purpose of the training is for teachers to feel confident in filming and basic editing (using Camera, Do Ink Green Screen, and iMovie), and to understand how doing this can enhance talking and listening skills. To ensure that the teachers understand how green screen filming can relate to the curriculum, Mrs Kennedy will pull a few lines from the Language and Literacy Statutory Requirements, such as “Pupils should be able to listen to, respond to and explore stories, poems, songs, drama, and media texts through the use of traditional and digital resources and recreate parts of them in a range of expressive activities”. So, Mrs Kennedy suggested that Foundation/Key Stage 1 teachers could retell the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’, for example. We will then look at the Desirable Features for UICT Film and Animation, so that teachers know what kind of work is expected for each level.

Based on her experience, Mrs Kennedy will talk about the advantages of using film (and green screen) in the classroom: it can be used as evidence; it’s accessible; it makes pupils enthusiastic and gives them ideas; and it allows different children to come to the fore.

Teachers will be given a topic sheet to help them come up with an idea for their film, and a storyboard template so that they can sequence it. We will ask the teachers to film the short clips in front of a green screen using the Camera app first before bringing them into Do Ink Green Screen to add in the backgrounds. This is so that the video will be saved in the camera roll and won’t be overwritten.

Together, we will give the teachers a step-by-step green screen demo. We will encourage teachers to go through the Do Ink Green Screen tutorial/sample within the app as it can make it easier to understand how the different layers work. Mrs Kennedy is used to delivering CPD and enjoys creating resources, so she plans to make a guide for teachers on using Do Ink Green Screen.

After teachers have filmed their short clips and chosen relevant backgrounds, we will have a quick show and tell. I will then give everyone a basic iMovie refresher on how to import and order clips, add titles and credits, trim film clips, and save to camera roll. Teachers will then have a go at putting their green screen clips together in iMovie.

If there is time at the end, Mrs Kennedy will ask teachers to share their work via Seesaw, while relaying to them the benefits of using the app in the classroom. We can then have a showcase and discussion, hand out evaluations, and answer any questions the teachers might have. Mrs Kennedy intends to provide a pack of Into Film resources for teachers to take away with them.

I really look forward to assisting with this CPDL, and have a lot of faith in Mrs Kennedy and Mr Kinney as film leaders to deliver a session that the other teachers will find useful. Keep it up St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s PS!

Donna Galas, Artist Practitioner