Teaching Green Screen Skills for Interpretation, Modelling, and Analysis

My students have just finished presenting weather reports for our "Weather and Climate" unit and three "Green Screen" studios in our school helped create a piece of student work that involved writing, reading and speaking. Before I get to the tech side of things, I want to say it was the curriculum that chose the tools.

  • Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.

If the verbage of the standards asks students to develop, and whenever students must model, or interpret, public presentations allow students to present their learning in a way that is authentic and applied. I wanted students to interpret some screencasts of local weather and with that as a background, apply, interpret and describe what is happening using background knowledge used in our formative assessments.

Step 1-Recording Background Screencasts
I started with teaching students how to do screen recordings. My students had some experience using
quicktime and screencastify but it was important to have the "base screen" which was the background for which students would interpret. I directed them to a number of weather websites that have live feeds and the students recorded a few minutes at a time.

Quicktime allows a student to record backgrounds to interpret

Step 2-Writing a Script
The script was the writing piece which was assessed and improved through multiple stages of drafting. The project rubric and outline was provided, but the script hinged on the screencast that students recorded and were able to understand with their background of atmospheric heating.

Step 3-Recording With a Greenscreen
What a "Green screen" back ground allows the user to do is to have a subject in the foreground, (usually a person) with a background that will be deleted so that the speaker will be superimposed over the image or video background. (Think your local weather forecast). Schedule different times for groups to access different rooms and tell them to be succinct with their times.

A greenscreen can be painted, or a green sheet. Lighting is optimal. 
Step 4-Overlaying in "IMovie"
My students were "Imovie" ninjas following the work that we did in the fall semester, but even if you and your kids are not, it's super easy. Import media recordings to your "Imovie" media. Start with the screencast as the base foundation and then drag the greenscreen overlay to the place where you want the screencast to pop up in the background. When you drag that over, there will be a double rectangle that appears and you can select "blue-green screen" to cut out the background.

In "IMovie" you can overlay screencasted backgrounds and video recorded 
Notice the square and the drop down description of "Green/Blue Screen"

Step 5-Finished Work
As students finished, the students had a viewing party and gave peer feedback to one another on their projects which were uploaded to their blogs and websites. Overall, it was a great project and one of my student's most memorable ones of the year. See this finished product below!



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