Do you ever find yourself wishing for new ways to integrate technology into your classroom?  Do you amass video footage and then, ultimately, delete it?  Do you want to create meaningful projects with your students?  Wow, you answered every question with yes…or maybe you only answered one question with yes.  Either way, iMovie is a tool worth exploring in your classroom.

My love affair with iMovie began several years ago when I realized just how easy it was to piece video footage together in this remarkable app.  Since then, I’ve made movies about just about everything with my kindergarten students.  We’ve created movies about our class identity, movies that mirror what we’re learning about in Writer’s Workshop, documentaries…the list is long.

This year, I decided to experiment with two new project ideas:  individual student films (all my previous movies involved the entire class working together) and a monthly documentary for parents.  I shared how the process of kids making their own iMovie’s unfolded at NAEYC this year.  Reflecting on my experiences has helped me realize just how capable young children are, especially when they have such a huge role in the creative process.  I was also reminded of how much I can learn by from them.  I often begin by posing the simplest of questions, “how do you want to do this?” and then just kick back and listen as they figure it out.  This is especially helpful when I have an end goal in mind but am unsure of the best way to get there.  Working this way is most successful in small groups.  It’s also smart to begin the work with children who are comfortable using iPads.  Splice their ideas with yours as you go along, each small group lesson is informed by the one proceeding it.

As for the monthly documentary, it could not be easier to create!  Video footage is sorted by date within iMovie.  You simply drop the footage in.  I like to add titles to clips so parents know what’s going on.  I’ve also gotten into the habit of taking a time-lapse video on the playground each month to close the movie.  It’s literally a sped up recording of the kids coming together for a class photo.  Simple yet awesome.

Are you still on the fence about iMovie?  Geez!  Give your kids an iPad and let them take videos for an entire day then work together to make the movie.  Share it with your parents and graciously except the numerous compliments you will receive.  A wise person once said, “iMovie is a tool worth exploring in your classroom.”  Do it.  You won’t regret it.

Making movies that matter
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About the author

Rachel Hill
Rachel Hill is an early childhood educator with ten years of teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from UIC and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from National-Louis University. Rachel has authored curriculum for young children about identity, equality and, most recently, illustration study. She presented at NAEYC in 2013 and 2014, Chicago Metro AEYC in 2013 and IDEA:TE in 2015.
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