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Ghost Story movies

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago

Student Film Making


Bill Cooney


GRADE LEVEL: Elective Classes JHS 3
SKILLS: Creative Writing, Speaking
TIME: 4-5 complete lessons
MATERIALS: Laptop, digital camera, movie software (free with most computers), dictionaries, props
OBJECTIVES: To produce original material
To write creatively in English
To be engaged in creativity in English



Lesson 1


1. Split the students into groups of 5-6 students and introduce the project (10 minutes).


2. Students write original short stories of 100-150 words based on the theme (35 minutes).


3. Teachers work with students to correct and check their work.


Lesson 2


1. Students resume working in groups completing their stories (20-25 minutes).


2. Upon completion of their story, the group practices reading & presentation of their story (15 minutes).


3. Students make a list of any props they require for the next lesson (10 minutes).


4. Teachers work with students to correct and check their work, check pronunciation & reading. Assist students with organizing their lists of props, etc.


Lesson 3


1. In groups, students present their stories and are recorded (audio only) by a teacher using either the laptop or the digital camera.


2. Whilst groups are not recording, they are either practicing speaking or (if they have been recorded) making a list of what photos they would like to be taken for their story.


3. One teacher records performing groups, one teacher supervises the other groups.


Lesson 4


1. In groups, students take a number of photos to help tell their story visually.


2. Other students can be doing a workshop, or (since we’re making movies) watching one.


3. One teacher taking photos with groups, one teacher supervising.


4. Post-class: The audio recordings and the still images are compiled to make a slide show that fits with the visuals.


Lesson 5


1. Present the film to the students.


2. Discuss (Did everybody follow the stories? What was the best? What was the worst? Funniest? What was the most interesting about making the film, etc).


3. Awards (consult with the JTE) Academy Award style (Best Actor, Worst Hair, Funniest Look, etc).




I used this very effectively with a 3rd year elective JHS class. The students ranged in ability from high level (competent readers & writers with dictionaries, good pronunciation & speaking style) to low level (high level of grammatical & syntactical errors, katakana pronunciation).


We chose the theme “Ghost Stories” and had our students create ghost stories for their (relatively new) school. The students really enjoyed it and because this was a project for the 2nd half of the year, I burned copies for the kids in class as graduation projects (total cost of blank DVDs ¥2000).


It’s important to encourage the kids to flex in anyway they want to with this project. The emphasis is on original usage of English in a (hopefully) more entertaining way than just writing a story on a piece of paper.


If you have a broadcasting club at your school and have students from that club in your class, see if you can engage them to take care of compiling the pictures & audio under your supervision. It will give the students a bigger sense of ownership of the project.

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