Jan 102013

Over the holiday I happened across a super blog post from US educator Paul Bogush describing a sequence of lessons where his 8th grade students created RSA animate style videos to tell the story of the Louisiana Purchase. It seemed like a great idea, but I felt the planning and logistics were a little ambitious for my own circumstances.

Roll on to the new term and the majority of my GCSE class were completing their coursework projects.  Three students finished unexpectedly early and required a task that would lead them into the next topic. I considered for a moment what esteemed Lazy Teacher Jim Smith would do, given that I wasn’t in the position to be able to give any time at all to the students, what with assessment having to be Controlled these days. The idea of an RSA Animate style video sprung to mind; but circumstances dictated the most minimal of instructions…

  1. Discover what an RSA Animate style video looks like.
  2. Find out how meanders and oxbow lakes form. (The students hadn’t studied river landforms before.
  3. Work out how to replicate the RSA Animate style  using a Flip, a whiteboard and some dry pens.

No other instructions were given, and I didn’t see the students at all until their allowed time (2 1/2 hours) had elapsed. They made two 30 second films which I edited together. This is the result…

I’m really pleased with the video which will make a nice teaching resource. There’s obviously plenty of scope for improvement, but that in itself makes the video compelling.

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