Students in the Gifted and Talented program in the RSU 75 school district are creating a short film and lesson for younger students to show how they can help solve problems associated with climate change. Students plan to go to area elementary schools and present their videos along with a brief classroom activity. They have been making steady progress toward this goal.
First, the students conducted some research on the causes of global warming and ways to mitigate it at home. They studied small changes with big impacts, like unplugging appliances and chargers that are not in use, turning down the thermostat, buying local foods, avoiding the purchase of bottled water, and recycling. After this research, they showed they were ready to learn the basics of a good presentation.
Our students created an outline of their presentation with a solid beginning, middle, end, and a strong message. Their focus will be to inform younger students about the negative impacts of global warming, what causes it, and what they can do to help. Their next step was to create characters to tell their story.
Students created intriguing characters to engage their audience. The antagonist in their story is a power-sucking, greenhouse gas-producing reptile. Their protagonists are a boy and a girl who believe that it is possible for individual kids to have an impact on global warming, especially if they talk about what they are doing and why. These protagonists will follow the antagonist around, correcting his actions and teaching him how those changes can help prevent global warming.
After learning how to create a story board, everyone working on the project went home to write 16-panel cartoons to show what they thought the story should look like when taped. Students shared their ideas and plan to combine their storyboards into one for the video. Finally, the students had to choose a format for the video. After a heated debate and the help of some other impartial students, the kids decided to create a LEGO animation for their video. The group is excited to finish their story boards and begin filming!
by John Wironen, Gifted and Talented teacher