Wednesday, a Day Unlike Any Other
Wednesdays are an odd day here. By odd, I certainly do not mean bad, rather Wednesdays are unlike any other day of the week. On this day grade levels in the French Bilingual Program are mixed together. Our Schedule looks like this:
|8:05-8:45 AM||4th & 5th|
|8:45-9:25 AM||Pre-K & K|
|9:30-10:10 AM||1st, 2nd, & 3rd|
|10:50-11:30 AM||4 & 5|
|1:20-2:00 PM||1st, 2nd, & 3rd|
|2:05-2:45 PM||Pre-K & K|
The groups are made up of native and nonnative speakers, and with the various grades and skill levels it can be a bit tough to find common ground. Generally I tend to focus on Project Based Learning for groups with a wide variety of language proficiencies. Students are required to work together and use multiple skills to complete the project.
Previous Results of Film Making in the FBP ELL Classroom
Our first use of filmmaking was completed by our third graders. We planned to complete our “Recreational Activities Unit,” by sharing our hobbies with our classmates. The grade three students decided that they wanted to create short films that depicted their favorite hobbies.
Here you can see how they chose to convey their love of coloring. The very end was, admittedly, a bit improvised. Sometimes I am as much a ham as some of my students.
The students made three scenes, each depicting different hobbies they mutually enjoyed. To get to this point the third graders needed to:
- Generate a list of activities they enjoyed during “free time”
- Compare and contrast one another’s lists
- Imagine scenarios in which they could present those hobbies to an audience
- Compose a script
- Translate and express new vocabulary
- Direct, edit, and film their scenes
Yep, there sure is a lot of work that goes into making and producing a film. The project also required students to use a variety of their English skills to complete.
Students having ownership and creative control over their project, resulted in them being fully engaged in putting their English to use. Applying multiple language functions without even realizing they were doing it.
Grade 4 & 5 Films
Now Wednesdays with Grades 4 & 5 are the newest film makers. Students are creating ESLR inspired films, and are free to express the ESLRs in any way they can think of.
The two groups, while working with similar material have chosen very different styles and plots for their films. One group will be doing a live-action adventure film (think Indiana Jones), while the other has chosen to make a stop motion film (think Lego Movie).
The students have started following the same path as 3rd grade previously. Meaning, they are also discovering the amount of work it takes to make a film. However, the wonderful thing about this particular project is that it actually necessitates students to actively use ESLRs in its creation. So, while having the students recognize what exactly the ESLRs are, they then have the opportunity to apply them.
Wait, What are the ESLRs Again?
SIS’ ESLRs are our Expected Learning Results, I’ve saved you the hassle of finding them on our website and given you a screenshot of the definitions.
Our ESLRs assure that our students are acquiring real world problem solving skills. The ESLRs are a compliment to each curriculum that deepen their perception of the world and their role in it.
Since the students are building a film around the ESLRs, I am able to better assess their understanding of them. By weaving the ESLRs into their creative process the students must discuss with their instructor and each other their real meaning. This has led to some very insightful classroom discussion.
Working on our movie project only on Wednesdays means that this project will likely span the remainder of the year. Currently the students are revising their scripts, analyzing the connections between the ESLRs and their scenes, and getting ready to film. Keep your eyes peeled because our filmmakers will be making their English debut before you know it!