The inaugural LegacyQuest International Children’s Film and Video Festival has come to an end, the winners have been announced and we are already looking forward to a fantastic festival in 2015. We wanted to know the reactions of the teachers who decided to use this competition as a way to get their students excited about the ancient past. The following is what Britta Gramer from Morganton Day School had to say.
Over the next few weeks we will post videos showing the ingenuity of these middle school filmmakers. Stay tuned!
Click here to see the list of this year’s winners and for instructions on how to get involved in the 2015 festival.
Why did you enter the LegacyQuest competition? What appealed to you about the contest?
We love contests! Our school is a small independent school and we love to branch out. With only 20 students in the middle school, the students love to be involved either directly or indirectly with their peers. Also, the students love open ended projects that allow them to explore and inquire along with implementing their creative talents.
Give us an idea of the process of making a video. For example, how did the students choose the subjects for the videos? How did they gather information? How did they decide what to use during the shooting and editing process?
- Students brainstormed contemporary life for items, thoughts, ideas, or procedures that had possible roots in antiquity.
- They selected one topic to research its history and prevalence throughout the ages.
- Once they felt they had enough info (usually returning to research more a few times), they started to create a plan for the best way to share their information.
- After a rough plan was made, they created a story board for their video project. This is where they planned the scenes, music, script, transitions, etc.
- They utilized people from their group as the actors and filled in with other classmates and staff when needed.
What do you think the value of this contest was for your students? For you as a teacher?
For my students, the true value came through them being highly engaged. When MS students are engaged, far more learning and processing takes place. This project interested them and engaged them fully. Also, it required them to take a huge task, break it down into manageable chunks by creating a timeline. Through all of this, they came to realize some of what exists in contemporary society “isn’t really all that new.”
As a teacher, the facilitation of the above process was incredible to watch.
Where did this competition fit within your current curriculum?
We were beginning to look at Ancient Civilizations in 7th grade – PERFECT TIMING. Some of the questions that I had the students research were constructed from our curriculum objectives.
In your experience, why do you think students should learn about the connections between the past and the present?
Knowing our past life ways, ideas, thoughts, procedures, etc. near and far, is essential to our progression as part of humanity. We can use the past as a teacher for a more “20/20 hindsight” view of the who, what, when, why, where, how, causes, and effects, etc.
Any final comments?
A GREAT contest and we look forward to participating in the future.