They wanted to do a play about the Titanic.
They wanted to build a Titanic.
I said: Sure you can write a play and build a Titanic. But you can use the time before and after school, in breaks and when you have finished all your other work. I've already got a full term of work planned out.
They did a great job of building the Titanic. One of the dads went to town and got a big fridge box from an appliance store and helped the kids shape it. That child then brought his drill to school to make holes in it. I gave them straws, bottle tops, medicine bottles, skewers, wool, tubes, lots of hot glue gun plugs..... and they made a Titanic.
The writing of the play however was not so flash. It started with a hiss and a roar. But when I finally looked at it, it had three scenes each with two lines of dialogue. I could see we were going to need some work on this.
Term 3 went by in a flash, and then I went to ULearn12 with an idea about how we were going to do the Titanic as a movie instead. I went to see great keynotes and breakouts with Jason Ohler and Kevin Honeycutt who gave me the following great inspirations:
- getting the kids to record their ideas on video.
- fake it till you make it.
- collaborative writing, sharing that writing, reworking that writing.
- do it even if the budget is zero.
- don't wait till conditions are perfect, just do it.
- you'll never be great at something unless you have a go at doing it.
- make your students famous.
I have to say I was also somewhat inspired by the Manaiakalani Cluster and their annual movie awards too. The Two Helens (see another blog from after ULearn12) talked with passion about the learning their students got from making their movies.
So I came back to school in early Term 4 and went to the ALL meeting (Accellerated Literacy) and said my class would be writing a script for a movie and making a movie. They looked at me like I was mad. Time was to prove them right, but we have made a movie.
Look out for further installments of our movie making journey and eat your heart out James Cameron!!