It might come as a surprise to some teachers that all it takes to replicate the green screen effects that we all see in the movies and on the news is a free green screen app and some green butcher paper.
Once I put up my own DIY green screen in my classroom, my students didn’t have much trouble thinking of fun ways to incorporate it into their lessons and projects. Here are five fun ways to get your students learning and creating with green screen.
#1 Make your own pokemon cards
For the unit Who We Are students began by taking a personality quiz and identifying the traits and “color” that corresponded with their personality type. They then created a pokemon card on mypokecard.com and chose the two traits that best represented them as their attacks. They also identified which color they would have most trouble working with, which led to great conversations about personality clashes at school and in the workplace.
#2 For Photo Booths and Photo competitions
While student-led conferences are ultimately about learning, that doesn’t mean that they have to be boring. Our students set up a photo booth and showed their parents how it worked before snapping a quick pic in front of their chosen background. They made sure to raid the drama room’s stash of costumes before the event!
We also had an elementary-wide photo competition during reading week that took advantage of our kids’ savviness with the green screen.
#3 Make Yourself into an Ordered Pair (Graphing)
One thing that new users to green screen might not know is that with most green screen apps you can play with the size of the photos and even add several actors into the mix. For this mini-project, students took a picture of themselves in front of the green screen, added graph paper as the background and then plotted themselves and their friends into ordered pairs during math.
#4 For Music Videos and Rap Battles
For one learning engagement this year, students had to use their research papers on a colonial superpower to create rap lyrics. They then put their rap lyrics to a beat using GarageBand. Finally, they took their recorded audio track and created music videos, which of course got enhanced by the use of green screen. It was a fun way to get kids writing, combining and using technology effectively, and blending the disciplines of music, social studies, and language arts.
#5 Anytime you need the perfect background
For one of our units, students were inquiring about leadership styles. This led to a three day sequence where students experienced what their classroom would look like when transformed into one of the three main leadership styles: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-Faire. Of course, I loved playing the autocratic leader, and in addition to having students sing songs about me and portray me in the history books in a positive light, students created these propaganda pieces – autocratic rule of law with pleasant backgrounds – to share with their parents on Seesaw, who were eager to hear how the day went.
For any prospective employer, no children were damaged during the staging of these photos, for the record 😅
I hope these give you some great ideas for how to use green screen to add a fun and engaging element to your classroom. Keep coming back to educationrickshaw.com, and check out Stephanie’s Teachers Pay Teachers.