Student Produced Movies At Forest Trail Middle School Aid Studies

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Students at Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163’s Forest Trail Junior High and Middle Grade Centers are using technology to make movies that reinforce their studies.

Incorporating the content from other curricular areas, students in Keerie Prasopoulos’ Technology Explore classes are making movies about such things as physical and chemical changes, the planet Mars, vocabulary, and mathematics using Windows’ MovieMaker software.

“The students are combining science, math and language arts with technology. The movies they produce reinforce the concepts they have learned in other classes. At the same time, the students are becoming more proficient with technology as they use the numerous programs available to create the movies,” said Ms. Prasopoulos. “Their finished products include narration, music and either videos that they have recorded or photos they accessed online. At times they have to convert slides to JPEG format and they have to know how to edit their work.”

A lesson on the difference between physical and chemical changes was the topic of one science movie, while another focused on Mars and what one could expect to find on that planet. The math movies illustrated a math problem and demonstrated how to produce written response answers, something students are required to be able to do for the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). Another math movie showed how to find the area of a polygon. Students work in pairs in the one-quarter long class and write the scripts for the movies together.

“Making the movie on polygons helped me to better understand how to find the area,” said eighth grader Tyler Ball. “I also like working with a partner because you can share ideas and help each other.”

Seventh grader Atlanta Hubbard produced a movie on the word commodious and entered it in the BrainyFlix.com competition, a technology based competition that is geared to the SAT college exam vocabulary. Alumni of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) developed the site.

Atlanta’s video gives a definition of the word commodious and a sentence and then shows a large hallway at Forest Trail. Atlanta suddenly appears and dances through the hall to demonstrate how “roomy” it is. She will know in April if her movie is a winner.