Through an emergent curriculum our Kinderbird teacher, Bes Neal, is able to explore the ideas and interests of her students. In the fall of 2019, her Kinderbird class was able to explore their interest in movie making.
First, the kids spent time learning about making movies and created storyboards full of ideas and reasons why they wanted to make a movie. They even had a special visitor who previously worked in television come and speak to them about working with cameras and educating them on everything behind the scenes. Next, they got to work by drawing it all out. They were able to let their creative side shine through drawing pictures of the characters and scenes they wanted to be portrayed in their movie. At this stage, it became clear what they wanted the movie to be about, what costumes and props they would need, and where the movie would take place. For this class, the planning took time with the kids talking out the plot on many occasions. Then it came time for scouting the locations for their scenes. The kids spent time inside and outside the classroom really defining where they wanted their scenes to be. Of course, no movie is complete without costumes! The kids thought out and brought in their costumes from home with some even digging out Halloween costumes for their characters. Then it was lights, camera, action….and a lot of filming. It didn’t take long into the planning to realize all the kids wanted to act in the movie. Thanks to the help of some dedicated parents this was able to happen without taking away too much from the class structure. Finally, it was time to put it all together. Using the hand-drawn pictures the Kinderbirds made of their characters and scenes it was possible to put together scenes in a way that would tell the story they had created.
Mrs. Neal was focused to see this project through to the end for the kids. By keeping the plot simple and filming everything the class ended up with enough footage to complete the movie. It was important to keep a balance by having a plan that was not too structured or too lax. During the planning process, it was important to be flexible. The roles changed many times for some kids until they settled on their final characters or scenes.
The format of this project allowed the kids to showcase their skills in a way that they felt comfortable with. Through an emergent curriculum, all the kids took part in the movie-making process and something truly wonderful emerged. Once the project was completed the Kinderbird class was able to debut their movie to their loved ones at a movie premiere. Family members were invited with handmade invitations and tickets made by their child. They showcased all the materials and tools they created during the process and even walked a red carpet. Kinderbird bear even collected tickets for the big event!
Although this project is over it has left its mark. The kids not only had a great time bonding together, many of them continue to make stories and act out movies on their own.