Thursday, November 20, 2008

Historic Interview

The historic interview project is a powerful way for students to connect to both history as well as to friends and family. It gives them a reason to talk meaningfully with a grandparent, uncle, or sister about events with both personal and historic significance.

Here's an example:

A student interviews his father about politics in India and New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Audio Theater--I've Been Waiting for You

Here are student samples from the audio play "I've Been Waiting for You"

Audio Editing Tutorial--Oh My Darling

Here's an example of the finished tutorial, "Oh My Darling"

Medi Reviews

Here are examples of student-created media reviews.

Audio Tour

The audio tour project was developed as an authentic activity for podcasting as well as an engaging way to teach students the fundamentals of research.

Students choose a public place that has meaning to them and create an audio tour for it. They combine their personal interests and experiences with historical information and interviews with other people who had experience with or insight into the place.

This an example from an interdisciplinary project on the physics of baseball audio tour.
Here are excerpts from students' tours. 


Fanfiction is an phenomenon where fans of movies, video games, TV shows, comics create original material based on the characters and events of the entertainment that they are fans of.

Teaching with fanfiction is extremely helpful because it gives students familiar material to unleash their creativity. Student can create prequels, sequels, missing scenes, alternate universes, and retell stories from other characters' perspectives.

Just go to to see the variety of material that fans (many of them kids) are writing and reading about, or check out my growing collection of fanfiction links--sites of and about fanfiction.

Below is a fanfiction scene (created by a student and technically tweaked by me) in which the world of Rocky and Star Wars collide.

Bonus DVD

In this activity, students create a 'bonus' audio track for a movie. They simply instruct the listener where to cue the movie on a DVD player and then start the audio simultaneously. The student's commentary can be informational about the movie's background, about the plot, or historical significance of the scene. You can have students do 'color commentary' or 'play by play'. Here are two examples.

This one is from donnab and focuses on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

This one is from doodahpod and focuses on Mean Girls. There is an interesting use of the left/right stereo that lets a listener control the sound from the movie clip and from the commentary.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NJASL Conference

I had a great time presenting at NJASL. Contact me if you need extra handouts from the presentation.