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Green Screen Creation: A Poem about Identity
This is a fun activity that takes about three 45 minute periods. It's a great way to jump start the year and allows you to get to know your students better and gives them an opportunity to demonstrate how they would like to be represented. Students will also practice using more descriptive words in a poem. This will also give them a chance to get to know each other better and is a great ice breaking activity.
Creating an "I Am From" poem is a reflective exercise that allows students to explore their personal history, identity, and the places that have shaped them. The poem consists of a series of descriptive stanzas that capture memories, experiences, and emotions associated with student’s upbringing and background. I have used this with third grade students during their identity unit.
The goal of this unit is to allow students a chance to delve deeper and reflect on who they are in a creative and visual way. This allows students an opportunity to collect photos and use technology to show a poem in a unique way. I also like this because the students get invested and this type of engagement can support a variety of learning styles.
Creating the Poem:
Reflect on your past: Have students take some time to think about their, family, community, and the significant moments or experiences that have influenced them. They should think about the places, people, objects, traditions, and values that have shaped their identity.
Brainstorm: Have your students jot down words, phrases, and memories that come to mind when thinking about their background. Don't worry about the order or structure at this stage; just focus on capturing ideas and details. Make sure they also gather sensory details. Consider sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures that are significant to them.
Organize and refine: Once they have completed several stanzas or lines, have them read through their draft and consider the flow and structure. Students should revise and refine their language, adding vivid imagery and poetic devices such as metaphors or similes to enhance the emotional impact of their poem. They should start their poem with I am from.
Share and revise: Students share poems with others or read them aloud. They should pay attention to the rhythm, tone, and overall impact. Students should revise their poem as necessary to create a final version that resonates with them and their personal experiences.
Making the Green Screen:
- Students record themselves in front of a Green Screen.
When using a Green Screen it is best to pair up students, one to record and one to recite their poem. Make sure the iPad or iPhone is stable when recording. I usually use book on a desk to stabilize if a tripod is not available. Another helpful feature is to use the teleprompter in Pages. Make sure that that the green screen fills the background of the camera. You can also crop the video in iMovie later. Audio can be the hardest part so using a separate space to set up your green screen is best.
2. Students collect photos that relate and connect to their poem.
When having students choose photos, they should follow the imagery that is described in their poem.
For example in my poem, I used pictures from a walk near my house and from my adventures in Yosemite. Being able to bring in my own photos makes this poem so much more personal.
3. Place photos in iMovie and then add the video using green screen.
- Tap on Video
- Go to the three dots
- Tap on Green/Blue Screen
An "I Am From" poem is a personal expression of your students identity and background. There is no right or wrong way to create it. The goal is for them to delve into their memories, emotions, and connections to create a meaningful and authentic representation of who they are and where they come from. Hopefully your students enjoy the process as much as mine did and let the creativity flow!
Extension: In Art students can draw their own self portrait and add it to their video. Adding in a hand drawn image of themselves lets them reflect on their identity as they are drawing.
Share out: You can invite parents or members of the community to see student work and then have students help them write their own I am from poem.