*This is still a work in progress!*

Video Project: Still Lives

Short description: Essentially, an adult form of "Show and Tell", using photos of people, things, places, etc, (acting as proxies of the students themselves, analogue avatars, as it were) with an accompanying audio commentary or narrative, in the form of a video, to tell personal stories.

1. Rationale:

Aim: to get around the problem of students not wishing to appear in video presentations made available, or where, for whatever reason, students cannot appear in video presentations, e.g. if they are to be made available to the public

Problem: for various reasons, some (many?) students do not wish to appear physically in video presentations

Possible solution: One possible solution is that instead of the students themselves, "proxies" of the students would appear on screen. These proxies could be representational or symbolic. The points to be made about the subject of the film - the film-maker - are made through the method of presentation, and the sequencing of the images, and especially through an audio (and/or subtitled) narrative.

2. Examples of slideshow videos with audio commentary:

Examples of Digital Stories

e.g. see "Stowaway" created by Anna Thorlaksdottir (Scottsdale Community College) a participant in the May 2005 Learnshop.

Video Journal :: spokesmanreview.com

e.g. Chasing a Comet (photoslideshow with commentary)
e.g. A place called home: Kimberly's arrival (photoslideshow with commentary)

this one is just cool - hats off to Richard Greene, NYC:

Tribeca Film Festival Shorts

e.g. "Dilemma" - a fantastic short science fiction film, with heart

3. Ideas for lesson plans

Title: My Life as "Stick News" (ala Sarah's TDES Stick News - all credit due)

Representational proxies: Drawings of the student could be used to represent an experience in the student's life, e.g. a holiday, or a weekend, or an ideal Saturday)

Title: Still Lives

Short description: Students collect still photos (digital, or scanned in), or short video clips, of their personal possessions or other objects important to them, and organise them in a sequence, with an accompanying audio narrative that tells some kind of story.

Title: My Life in Photos

Short description: Students collect still photos of themselves, and perhaps also people or places important to them at different stages of their lives (digital, or scanned in), and organise them in a sequence, with an accompanying audio narrative that tells some kind of story.

Title: My Life in Books / Movies / CDs

Short description: The film maker assembles actual books, DVDs or CDs that have been important to them in their life, and organises them in a sequence, with an accompanying audio narrative that tells the story of their life, or part of their life, through the objects shown. The items could be shown as individual still photos, or the camera could physically track along a long line of them. If the physical items themselves are not available, digital images of them could be used.

Title: At Home with (name)

Short description: The film maker explores the physical space of their home, or perhaps just the most important room, e.g. the living room, with an accompanying audio narrative that describes what happens, and/or perhaps what happened at specific times, in the spaces shown, with the objects, furnishings, etc, shown.

Title: A Story for the Card

This activity is taken from "A Story for the Card", page 115, Grammar in Action, Christine Frank and Mario Rinvolucri (1983), in association with Pilgrims Language Courses, Canterbury, Pergamon Press

The images seen on screen are 4 playing cards, one of each suit (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades). The accompanying narrative is a personal anecdote conforming to the subject of the suit:
Hearts - love, romance (or more generally, friendship)
Diamonds - money (or more generally, personal possessions)
Clubs - good luck (or more generally, a happy experience)
Spades - bad luck (or more generally, an unhappy or frightening experience)

Working in small groups, each student in class would normally tell a personal anecdote for each card, i.e. four little personal stories. Depending on the length of video desired, they could be allowed to choose only 2 or 3 suits.