Back to school history lesson starters with iMovie’s Magic Movie

The beginning of school is a busy time so I appreciate quick and easy ways to hook students on curricular topics. One engaging way to create interest without taking up a lot of prep time to introduce a topic is with Magic Movie created in iMovie.

My steps:

First gather some engaging, curious or unique images and/or videos about a topic and add them to iPad Photos album. Since my focus is history I often use primary sources. Then I open iMovie, select Magic Movie and add the album photos.  Magic movie will do its “magic” and quickly create a movie putting in transitions and music saving me from lots of editing time.  However I can also tweak the movie and add additional images, questions or challenges as titles.  I suggest starting each class period during a unit of study by playing the instant movie to continue to build on enthusiasm and student focus throughout the topic

Here is an example I prepared using primary sources as a lesson starter on the history and engineering of the Golden Gate Bridge for a professional learning audience. Note that a screen cast recording of Apple Maps Flyover makes cameo! So easy to do! 


4 replies

August 27, 2022

Thank you for sharing Cheryl, this could be adapted for so many subjects.

August 29, 2022

I remember the updated version of iMovie came out towards the end of the school year last year, so I didn't get a good chance to play around with it. I didn't realize how easy the Magic Movie is to use.

My students started working on a European country of their choice, but have to identify a landmark of the region they are studying. And most are finished after only 10-15 minutes of working. So easy, so cool, so much fun. Those that finished are now trying to figure out how to use with Apple Maps; I'm not showing them how yet, I'm making it challenge for them to figure out. (They know how to screen record, just seeing if they can remember)

Thank you for sharing.

August 29, 2022

Great assignment Brian! They’ll have fun with Apple Maps - lots of ways to use them. Here is a listing of all the cities with a Apple Maps Flyover:

September 01, 2022

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing! I love the new Maps capabilities and your call out of screen-recording the flyover, what a great addition to the Magic Movie which, like you said, is such an instructional time saver!

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