Movie Making and PhotoStory

General Tips/Resources

- Handout in cartoon format made by Apple, going through the various elements of preparing for and shooting a movie.
The Good Shooting Guide - Tips & resources to help you film great shots: Walks you through the planning process, getting good audio & video, and editing. Includes helpful audio & videos.
Current Events- Tips, resources, and video examples on making successful movies: what makes a good story, examples, equipment, film, editing.
Making Stopmotion - Learn how to make stop motion or claymation using MovieMaker/iMovie and a webcam. Includes examples.
Digital Directors Guild - Resources, examples, tips, and information for teachers interested in incorporating moviemaking in their classroom.

Educational Uses of a Flip Video Camera

42 Interesting Ways to Use Pocket Video Cameras in Your Classroom
Forty Interesting Ways to use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

  • Use in place of PowerPoint - more dynamic, may even take less time to create & edit than PPT, can place on YouTube, TeacherTube, etc. - format today's kids gravitate towards
  • Embed videos onto your class blog or wiki
  • Field Trips - groups document observations, discoveries, reflective/review piece back at school
  • Science Experiments - record science experiment for the day - good for review, documentation, build up library of experiments
  • Journalism & English - quickly record events and get them onto the computer and disseminated
  • Record student reading/speaking progress, fluency
  • Drama - Record in-class performances for review and feedback.
  • Student Assemblies - record performances, use video as part of assembly. Share student council interviews of school community members on topics.
  • PE/sports - record student performance for later evaluation. Ability to pause and see individual frames useful.
  • Global Collaboration - share experiences or project with your global partner
  • Technology & Design - document steps/progress of coursework, competition project. Easier to share with moderator or mentor.
  • School Websites & PR - showcase happenings around school

Using Flip Share to Create a Movie from Thomas Sheppard on Vimeo.

How to use a Flip Camera - 2 minute video
Flip Video Spotlight Usage Tips

Classroom Uses of the Flip Camera


  • Record the steps in an experiment. Can save to share with absent students, review steps, etc. Can be uploaded to teacher website, SchoolTube, etc or even embedded into a Glog.
  • Interview people in science careers
  • Record science in action - birth of chicks, emerging from chrysalis, chemical reactions, etc.
  • Create "how-to's" explaining the steps of a project going through the scientific process

Social Studies

  • Make and record an advertisement for a product - either current or historical
  • Portray a famous person (i.e. political leader) giving a speech
  • Create and record a mock trial
  • Film as if you are a reporter on the scene of a famous historical event
  • Create a movie trailer about a special event or biography about a person


  • Students take a camera for the day, documenting the many ways they use math in their everyday life.
  • Record a student working through and solving a problem
  • A student records the teacher working through and explaining a problem. This can be saved onto a student's flash drive or uploaded to a web site, blog, etc. for students to review

Language Arts

  • Create a movie trailer or book review for a book students have read
  • Record students reading poetry, focusing on vocal expression
  • For those students who are shy and afraid of speaking in front of the class, give them the option of recording their speech
  • Act out homophones
  • Recreate scenes from a short play or story
  • With a few students, record the dialogue contained in a section of a book (or recreate to make shorter), focusing on inflection, clarity, expression, etc.
  • Record each student reading a selected text and use as a record of the students' current oral reading capability

Foreign Language/ESL

  • Students create common words translation videos
  • Record students reading/speaking as a document of their current ability. Repeat a few times during the year for comparison and growth.
  • Walk around the school, identifying the names of certain items and locations
  • Take selected vocabulary words and act out their definitions
For more ideas, read "Doing a Flip Across the Curriculum"

The Many Ways to use Flip Video Cameras in the classroom - slideshow of ideas

Instruction and Teaching

  • Students videotape tips on becoming better readers
  • Videotape process for absent students or for later review
  • Record video for uploading to VoiceThread project
  • Students create video for parents on how they can help with reading or writing
How to record, delete, edit, and share videos on the Flip video camera

Making Videos on the Web


Making slide show (still photos) into a movie

MovieMaker Live Windows 7 - 5 minute YouTube tutorial going through the basics


PhotoStory is a free application for Windows XP, allowing users to create digital presentations (similar to Ken Burns) of still images and sounds. Even young students are able to import images, change desired order, add text (only a line or two per image), and add audio (record/narrate and/or add music, either from another source or "compose your own" through the program's music creator). The narration recording tool is slide specific, enabling the slide's audio to be reworked, removed, etc. without affecting others. When working with still images, PhotoStory is often a better choice than MovieMaker and other movie applications.

Wiki on PhotoStory: Resources, projects, examples, tutorial
Creating Animated Slideshows with PhotoStory - video tutorial going through all the steps of creating a basic PhotoStory project.


  • Import student illustrations for a book(scanned or drawn on the computer) and narrate each page, either individually or as a small group.
    • Focus on voice and dialogue, use effects and music to enhance topic
  • Demonstrate process (i.e. experiment) as captured through still photos and brief text explanations
  • "All About Me" project
  • Write narratives about special people in your family, at school, occupations
  • Take photos during a field trip, sequence the photos, and narrate it
  • Year-in-Review of your class or school
  • Create a historical timeline of an an event or series of events
  • Feature a famous person, hero, artist, etc.
  • Practice your foreign language vocabulary skills in describing your imaginary family's physical characteristics, etc. using adjectives and nouns.
  • Draw or act out language arts concepts such as cause and effect or idioms
  • See more ideas on the 21st century teaching wiki

Xtranormal dialogue

Free (or fee for more features) movie-creating site that allows users to pick a scene, type a script, add sounds & actions, and publish their work
  • Teach geography (or other concepts) by having characters define or describe words
  • Practice writing dialogue and other story elements. Also includes change of camera angles, expressions, etc.
  • Jointly create sequence incorporating words/concepts covered that day.
  • Teacher examples:
  • Student example on the tea tax and patriotism in America