In my classroom right now my grade 4s are learning about Rocks and Minerals. I have tried to focus more this year on using experiments and inquiry in my units. I have taught the rock cycle before but it has always fallen flat. This component of the Rocks and Minerals unit needs to be taught in a more engaging way. So in doing research for my TPT unit I cam across an activity that uses crayons melted over hot water.
On Monday I knew that I wanted to do this with my class but as usual I wanted to try it out first at home just to make sure that it worked well. Students are rarely good when an experiment doesn’t work out the way you need it too. So to prepare I stole some crayons from the little ones craft cupboard, ruined a cheese grater, and began to prepare the materials for my at home practice experiment.
But then I had an idea…..
A few days before a student showed me a video he had made of him drawing a picture with his iPod touch. He had used the time lapse feature in the photos app to film himself. It was great! So sitting in my kitchen I thought that filming this experiment of the Rock Cycle would be a great opportunity to try filming with Time Lapse Video. However of course I could just simply film the experiment I was inspired so I decided to write a story about the rock cycle to go with the experiment so that I could use it to help reinforce the concept of the Rock Cycle in a memorable way. So my Video was born. Check it out below, then keep reading and I will tell how I made it.
Writing The Story
Once I was inspired to add a story to the video I needed to plan it out and think it through. So I wrote it out a rough draft of the story. Once this was done I made sure that my draft was off to the side when I was writing live on the video so that I reduced the amount of mistakes that I made when writing. Writing out the story as I video taped was nerve wracking but very easy. The time lapse feature makes is look very cool on playback.
Steps in the Experiment
Each step of the experiment was a different video clip. I filmed these one at time. This was imperative that did this correctly because I didn’t have additional crayons so I needed to make sure that although I could rewrite the script I couldn’t redo the experiment portion. I rehearsed it then filmed it. I put my phone in the kitchen cupboard above my counter and turned on the under cabinet lights to reduce the shadows.
Putting it All Together
This was actually the easiest part. I used iMovie and this app is so user friendly to create a stunning video. I simply selected each video in order, zoomed and flipped the original videos so they were how I wanted them to look. I cut and clipped each video to make them fit together and transition nicely. To zoom in to certain parts and focus on the writing I duplicated the same video and then zoomed into the bowl so that you could see the crayons melting into an igneous rock.
Finally I switched to KeyNote and made my opening and closing slides then opened the slides to see them full screen and screen captured them. I added the new photos to my video and recorded my voice over the final image so that it would direct people back to by blog here or to my TPT product.
In the Classroom…
My students loved the video and it helped to consolidate their learning and review the steps that I had just demonstrated to them in class. They were also very inspired to go out and try to create their own videos about things. I am sure that I will have a lot of time lapse videos in my future.
If you would like to check out my Rocks and Minerals TPT Unit see it here.