Using the Green Screen to Learn and Share in the Classroom
Type of technology: iPad app
Grade level: K-12
Subject area: all subjects
I have been teaching 5 years, however this last school year was the most professionally challenging year to date. Two weeks before the school year began I learned my kindergarten teaching position was cut due to low kindergarten enrollment and was offered an opportunity to stay at our school and open the brand new building and state of the art Design Center. The Design Center would serve as part of the special rotations alongside music and art with the goal to promote innovation and creativity within our students. I went from having 20 students a week to 470 students a week in the S.T.E.A.M(S.T.E.M plus A for art) classroom. So last October began the hunt for fun projects I could roll out with minimal cost and with little preparation to support learning across subject areas and grade levels.
Integrating the green screen into my classroom turned into to an array of unforgettable projects and was so easy to use. I had my first fun in front of the green screen at a MakerSpace Workshop at the VCOE office. Our instructor threw us right into a project which was to to retell a story using the green screen. We used the app Green Screen by Do Ink and retold the Three Little Pigs and thanks to the app, superimposed our heads onto the bodies of the pigs and wolves and recorded a video. It was really fun and easy to use. Immediately my group and I started brainstorming all the ways we could use the green screen in our classrooms to promote language, creative writing projects, and more. I’m telling you, this was so much fun and easy to use that we all went online and bought the green screen stand and downloaded the app for $2.99. Purchasing the green curtain and stand is not a must. You can make your own green screen by painting a wall green, hanging green fabric, or even using the green screen setting on your SmartBoard. I bought my green screen stand with fabric for about $70. It took up a big corner or my classroom but I was fortunate to have a lot of space.
When the Green Screen arrived I set up the stand, which involved assembling PVC pipes and hanging the green curtain. I asked the custodian if he would pose so I could experiment with the app and in about 5 minutes of playing with the app we had him standing in outer space.
I knew I had a great introduction to the Green Screen project. As we all know, our students need to experiment first before we can expect them to use new tools , so, I introduced them to the green screen with a story telling project. I asked all of our faculty to take a pic in front of the green screen and students created stories using their teachers as characters.
They were so engaged in this activity and soon they were writing stories about their teachers and sharing them in front of the class. They used AirPlay to project their image onto a smart T.V. for all to see.
Students in Mrs. Larson’s 4th grade class presented their California mission project in front of the green screen as an alternative to building a mission. They learned about Creative Commons and how to choose images that can be reproduced or altered.
As part of a Lucy Calkins writing unit, Kindergarteners celebrated their published writing pieces by reading their writing in front of their own drawings. Check out this video from the Kindergarten “How To” Books Publishing Party.
On Earth Day we shared this video with our school! Check out our Arbor Day Celebration.
Ms. Trainor’s 1st grade class celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a whole class read aloud with the pages of the Cat in the Hat as the background.
As the year went on, more and more projects developed. We even brought out the green screen at our open house so families could have some fun.
The green screen is still a hit at our school. We even had it as a booth at our MakerFaire in June of this year. We invited our local meteorologist to host the booth.
Whether you are having a publishing party at the end of a Lucy Calkins unit, broadcasting from your classroom, or starting a Maker Space at your school, the ideas are endless for what students can demonstrate when they have a green screen at their fingertips. Anyone can be a star. For a fun way to kick off your green screen project, feel free to show this video to your students to take them on a behind the scenes look at how meteorologist Meredith Garofalo uses the green screen daily. Thank you Brittany Goonan and Meredith for making this video to kick off our green screen fun. I hope you integrate the green screen into your classroom and please let me know how it goes!