Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2 New KLUTZ Movie-Making Books

A few years ago, I discovered the KLUTZ TRICKY VIDEOS book. (Blog Review here) I shared it with kids in the midst of some work with critical literacy--helping kids to see that what they saw in movies, commercials, etc. weren't always quite as they appeared.

So, I was thrilled to find two new KLUTZ video-creation books to share with kids this fall. MAKE YOUR OWN MUSIC VIDEO by Kaitlyn Nichols and THE KLUTZ BOOK OF ANIMATION by John Cassidy and Nicholas Berger.  Both look like they are filled with great tips for creating good videos.

Over the last few years in the library, I feel like our K-5 kids have really learned a lot about the tools of technology and what they could do. They have expanded the ways they use technology--rather than just being tools for game playing and recreation, they are now using the tools for learning and creation.  One of my big goals next year is to really think about raising the quality of the types of things students are creating and producing. I think they needed some time to play and see what was possible and we are ready to move ahead to really thinking about how to craft quality pieces.

I took some time with the Animation book today. This one is quite similar to the Tricky Video book but focuses almost completely on Stop Motion animation. The book has nearly 20 things to try with stop motion with directions and props when needed (pull out pages in the back of the book). For each set of directions, readers can go online to see the video in action. Videos include Claymation (Runaway Clay) as well as other stop motion (PAPER DOLL DISCO and NO-HANDED EATING).  The book also provides tips on sound effects and other tips for your first stop motion video.

The MUSIC VIDEO book is a bit different in that each page focuses on one tip for creating good music videos.  A few examples are "10 Steps to Amazing Air Guitar" and "Special Effects on an Allowance". The book also includes a portable green screen, downloadable backgrounds and free editing software (which I have not checked out.)

My goal with books like this is to open up the possibilities for students. I believe that for students to view and consume critically, understanding how things are created is critical.  The key this year will be to move beyond this quickly and to use the tips in these to create videos with messages or stories with depth.  I think the kids are ready to learn about sound effects, etc. and to then embed those skills into videos that they create in order to give a message, review a book, tell a story, etc.

I'm looking forward to sharing these with students in a few weeks

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