Filmed Peer Spotlight Lesson Plan
This lesson plan promotes the use of written and spoken academic language by multilingual students. It is based on secondary standards. It uses filmmaking to bring writing and speaking together while focusing on academic langauge.
Students will make a film about a fellow students which includes a live interview along with appropriate B-roll, images, and narration. Students will produce a script, story board, fiim an interview, edit, and share their film.
Time frame: 2 to 4 weeks
Author: Materials from UEN's Filmmaking in the Classroom 5990-372 Fall 2021, Instructor Katie Blunt
Background for Teachers
To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of student filmmaking and English language acquisition.
The following resources can help you teach this topic:
English Language Acquisiton
- Utah Film Center Classroom Filmmaking Resources
- Filmmaking Steps
- AFI's Lights, Camera, Action!
- Canyons District Film Festival website
Screen Writing and Storyboarding
(Note: Be cautious about which scripts and storyboards you use with your students. Not all films are appropriate for students.)
- University of Houston Education - Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling - Write a Script (Links to an external site.)
- University of Houston Education - Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling - Create Storyboards (Links to an external site.)
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image - Screenwriting (Links to an external site.)
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image - Storyboards (Links to an external site.)
- New Literacies: Scriptwriting (Links to an external site.)
- Toy Story - Storyboarding (video) (Links to an external site.)
- 99 Designs - From Sketch to Spectacle: Famous Movie Storyboards (Links to an external site.)
- Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDB) (Links to an external site.)
- The Screenplay Database
- PBS Student Reporting Labs: LEVEL UP videos on Vimeo
- How to Set Up 3-Point Lighting for Film, Video, and Photography (Links to an external site.) (Full Sail University)
- DIY: Make Your Own Basic Lighting Kit at Home (Links to an external site.) (Full Sail University)
- Custom White Balance for Better Video (Links to an external site.) (Curtis Judd)
- Basic Lighting Tips (Links to an external site.) (Canyons School District Film Festival)
- PhoenixFilmsPMSS 6 Minute Film School on YouTube
- TEDBlog 10 Tips for Editing by video by Kari Mulholland
- Vicki Davis 10-Minute Teacher Podcast: Advice from a Filmmaking Pro About How to Help Kids Make Movies
- Steve Hullish This Guy Edits Lessons from the Top Film Editors (cut by Katie Blunt) on YouTube
- Utah Film Center Classroom Filmmaking Resources Editing Software and Tutorials
Open Licensed Media
- Adobe Stock (Links to an external site.)
- Some images in Adobe Stock's library require payment, even with Utah educator and student Adobe Create UTaccounts.
- CC Search from Creative Commons (Links to an external site.)
- Unsplash (Links to an external site.)
- Pexels (Links to an external site.)
- Photos for Class (Links to an external site.)
- Photo Pin (Links to an external site.)
- Wellcome Images (Links to an external site.)
- Wikimedia Commons (Links to an external site.)
- TinEye Labs Multicolr Search (Links to an external site.)
- National Archives (Links to an external site.)
- New York Public Libary Digital Collections
- Soundzabound offers a wide variety of music, audio themes, and sound effects that are perfect for podcasts, videos, news shows, and more. Click here (Links to an external site.) to learn more about Soundzabound. Utah educators and students can access Soundzabound resources for free through Utah's Online Library (Links to an external site.). To access Soundzabound for free while at home, visit Utah's Online Library (Links to an external site.) and log in with the credentials provided by your school or local library.
- YouTube Audio Library (Links to an external site.)
- Moby Gratis (Links to an external site.)
- Incompetech (Links to an external site.)
- ccMixter (Links to an external site.)
- National Jukebox from the Library of Congress (Links to an external site.)
- Freesound (Links to an external site.)
- Partners in Rhyme sound effects (Links to an external site.)
(Note: A large portion of these resource lists was provided by Rushton Hurley and Next Vista for Learning (Links to an external site.).)
Credits and Citations
- Next Vista for Learning Sources and Citations
- Kathleen Morris theedublogger.com "The Educator's Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons."
Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes
- Students will be able to use Academic English language in their scripting and interviews.
- ELD Standard 1: Language for Social and Instructional Purposes (ELD-SI)
- ELD Standard 2: Language for Language Arts (ELD-LA)
- ELD Standard 5: Language for Social Studies (ELD-SS)
- Data: students will use Academic English langauge at or above their present levels in speaking and writing as recorded on their WIDA ACCESS 2.0 assessment.
- Students will be able to script, storyboard, film, and edit a short spotlight film about a peer.
- CCR Anchor Standards for 6-12 Writing
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
- Students will be able to produce quality material throughout their project
- CCR Anchor Standards for 6-12 Writing
- Students will use Academic English language in their scripting and interviews that is at or about their WIDA levels in speaking and writing
- Students will complete all steps in the process: script, storyboard, film, edit, credit sources in the short spotlight film about a peer
- Students will go beyond completing each step, and will produce quality material throughout the project
Step 2 - Planning Instruction
Student Background Knowledge
Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of their present level of English language proficiency in speaking and writing. They will also need to know how to conduct a formal interview.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
Differentiation is acheived with tying the required academic language to the students present levels. As the different parts of the project are being worked on, the teacher can evaluate what is working for the students and make adjustments. The teacher may need to assign a mentor, conduct small group instruction, provide schaffolding, and apply appropriate expectations based on a student's language proficiency, technological abilities, and 504 or IEP considerations.
Step 3 - Instruction
Students will work in pairs to prepare a short filmed peer spotlight. They will work together, asking each other questions to find out about their history, family, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. They will then choose which information they would like to use in the narration, and which in the live interview. They will write the video narration and a series of questions for a formal interview using the WIDA Can Do Descriptors at their level and just beyond their level. They will each check each others narration and questions for academic language use.
Student will then script their videos, placing part of the narrative before the interview and part of it after the interview. They will create a storyboard illustrating what pictures will go with the narration, where the interview will take place (a particular place in class, on the soccer field, etc.), titles, music, and images.
Students will film their interviews. They will then assemble images, and music to use in the film. They will edit the pieces that they have produced or found and create their film, including the narration and film credits.
A spotlight mini film festival will be held in class. Students will vote and give each film an 'award' for the best feature of their project (music, editing, use of academic language, interview, etc.).
- Review WIDA Can Do Desriptors and Speaking and Writing Rubrics with the students in a Nearpod
- Review the Filmed Peer Spotlight objectives, activities, and final project rubric
- Show an example of a filmed interview: Diversity Among Collegues
- Thoughtfully assign partners
- Dicuss what Academic language looks like in this context
- Using the teacher as an example, and the class acting as the partner, go through asking questions and finding out information about the teacher. Decide what information to put before the interview, in the interview, and after the interview.
- Review image and music citations
- Do a class challenge image hunt, including posting citations on a padlet
- Do a class challenge music hunt, including posting citations on a padlet
- Students work with partners to find out information about each other
- Students produce scripts and story boards, checking in with the teacher for feedback
- Instruct lighting, sound, filmming, editing, titles, and credits
- Explore the above elements for the video about the teacher by dividing students into four gorups (one for lighting, sound, filmming, and editing) to come up with suggestons based on the information about the teacher that they gathered.
- Students film interviews
- Students put all elements of their peer spotlight video together and check with teacher for feedback
- Watch mini film festival
Step 4 - Assessments
As students are working through the process, they have a couple of checkins with the teacher who can at that time assess the work and give feedback. The teacher should also be circulating among the partnerships to listen and assess if the students need additional teaching or extension.
The script and story board are reviewed by the teacher as an assessment. The teacher can assess how the students are doing, give feedback, and additional instruction for those needing it.
The teacher should check in with the students at the draft stage of their video. This is an important time to evaluate individual student need and also needs that are coming up among several students. The teacher can offer individual help and support, and also craft mini lessons for concerns that many of the students have.
The final film project will be evaluated using this rubric.