Stickleback Fossil Video


My class finished our latest video project on the last day of school (Wednesday). We were under such a time crunch that groups were literally doing voiceover work the last day as we also moved my stuff to the room I’ll be in next year. We started the project in November, so I guess you could say it took seven months to do – but actual class time was probably 3 weeks of 1 to 2 hours each day.

I like the entire class to be involved in projects like this and one way to do that is to divide the video up into the different scenes that are required and then assign each group in your class a different scene they are responsible for – like doing a “jigsaw” activity. This way each group “specializes” in their scene, but when the whole thing comes together everyone learns from everyone else’s pieces. We all see each others’ parts many times to critique or check for word pronouciation (over half my students speak another language so word pronounciation is difficult and practiced a ton)  so we really learn the content material well.

A little background information:

The stickleback fish fossils we found are 9 to 15 million years old – we took 90 students on the trip and every student found multiple fossils (some students had 15 or 20 and we only “fished” for the fossils for a little over an hour). We researched on the net and asked questions and got permission to use photos from experts at Stanford, the Universities of Wisconsin – Whitewater and Nevada – Reno. Watch for the cool props students made from plaster, clay, fish bones and other materials.

I’ll discuss the “Messy” and not so messy parts of this project in future posts and why this is important work for students to be involved in. They worked hard and were really impressed that their work won’t just be thrown away or sit in a drawer somewhere, but will be available for people all over the world to see and learn from. What an exciting time we live in.

Learning is messy!

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