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One of our first leaps into the Everyone Can Create curriculum (see more about why PLP is piloting this curriculum in our previous post), was with PLP 9.

In PLP 9, our focus is on building on the skills from PLP 8 with the still image and bringing those images to life by moving them; in other words, we make movies!

The Everyone Can Create Video Guide is a perfect fit to build the PLP 9 skills in storytelling through the moving image. 

Since our year in PLP 9 also begins with our epic field study to Alberta for Beakerhead, we wanted to combine the skills of video creation with our field study.

There was no better place to have this happen than in Three Valley Gap’s Ghost Town!

This amazing attraction would be our first stop of the week long trip, so we wanted to make sure students would be prepared from the moment we arrived.

In class, prior to departure, students completed the activities in Chapter One of the Everyone Can Create Video guide to practice using Clips and making shot lists.

Next, students worked in small groups to brainstorm a story diagram for a ghost town film. We prepared for this by looking a little at the history of film from its earliest beginnings to the rise of the silent movie era.

Once groups agreed on their storyline (and had lots of peer and teacher critique to simplify their ideas!), they storyboarded the plan for the film in Notability with a simple graphic organizer. This was a required milestone assignment before we let them loose on the ghost town to shoot.

  • Storyboard Part One
  • Storyboard Part Two
  • Storyboard Part Three

We used Chapter Two’s activities to look at framing, scene coverage, and aspect ratios to improve their storyboards and consider how the storytelling could be improved by the filming itself. As Sam reflected on this section, “A good video should also include different angles. From close-ups, to long shots. It should also include music that goes well with the video”.

When everyone was ready, students were free to wander the ghost town and shoot their masterpieces for one hour before meeting up for a tour and dinner. 

Edits begun as soon as we left the ghost town and continued through out the trip, but were completed once we were home. 

Students were really excited by the creations from this project. As Gaby reflected, “We played our characters basically as ourselves. It was slightly jarring not being able to talk during the video. It was a lot of fun! I’m really passionate about old vintage things so I enjoyed filming in an “abandoned” ghost town”. 

Overall, Caleb summarized his learning about video skills during this project best when he writes “It may be easier to start with what DOESN’T make a good video!”. We had a great time exploring this chapter together and this is one project we will definitely be doing again!