Last Thursday, I watched the live stream of Youtube’s “Life in a Day” film, and honestly, I was quite impressed. As I sat there watching, I started thinking of how this could be used in the classroom. Unfortunately, the film is not going to be released for several months, and then it will only be in theaters for some time. It is going to be a while before the actual film can be used by teachers. However, a quick visit to the film’s homepage got me to thinking, and there are still some pretty cool activities that can be done with the video that they have collected.
With a bank of videos that have been collected from all around the world, an obvious class to use the videos in is geography. Later in the week, I am going to be working with a geography class on the following project.
To start, I am going to explain to the class just a little bit about the background of the videos. The main point is that they were all shot on July 24, 2010 as a part of a project to give a visual representation of life on the planet earth in a 24 hour period. To me, this is a pretty awesome concept.
Then, I am going to pull up the site. On the homepage, I will click “Explore” and be taken to a page with a globe made up of video thumbnails. The globe is made up of random videos from the project and will be the main focus for the rest of the activity. Basically, the rest of the activity will involve watching videos chosen from the globe. I am going to have students come up to the Smartboard and click on a video for the class to watch. This will be quite random, but I think it will work well for what we want to accomplish with the project.
The learning and thinking part will come in evaluating each video using two handouts. The first will have a chart with each of the five themes of geography. Students will have to write down as much as they can for each video concerning each of the themes. The second handout will have these questions on it:
1. What do I love?
2. What do I fear?
3. What makes me laugh?
4. What do I have in my pocket?
By filling out the 5 themes sheet and the looking at how these questions are answered, students will gain a greater understanding of the similarities and differences in cultures across the globe. The fun part is that many of the videos are not tagged with a location, so students will have to try and guess where the video was shot. This will have to be done based on the 5 themes. The main hope for this activity is that students gain a greater sense of community with the world in which they live.
Click here to view the handouts.
There is one other tech related part of this activity that I failed to mention. I am also going to set up another projector and screen in the room with a Wiffiti board. Students will have the opportunity to chime in with feelings and also answers to questions for the whole class to see. This will be a collaborative piece. Instead of having the students work in small groups, they will be working as an entire class. I’ll be honest. I am not sure how this part is going to pan out, but I think it will be quite effective. I think I will also encourage students to use the Wiffiti board to make guesses as to where the videos were taken.
Well, that’s the activity. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments. It’s always good to hear another perspective. I will let you know how it all goes the first of next week.