What it is: Who are the Zimmer Twins, you might ask? Edgar and Eva Zimmer are 12 year old twins who appear normal but have developed psychic powers. Strange things began to happen when the twins adopted a black cat named 13. On the Zimmer Twins website, students can create their own cartoon movie endings to a story starter or create their own animated movie from scratch. Students can create and edit movies solo or “Collab-o-write” and work together creating a collaborative movie. Zimmer Twins runs well in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari making it easy to get to and use in any classroom setting. You will need Flash 8 (or higher) installed for the Zimmer Twins to work properly.
How to integrate Zimmer Twins into the classroom: Your students are going to love this site! They can direct and produce their very own animated movies. The easiest way to start using Zimmer Twins in the classroom, is to use it as a story starter. Students can watch a “starter” video and finish the story however they would like. The first time you introduce the site, it might be fun to complete a video as a class. Then students can take over and create their own ending to a Zimmer Twins movie. These video clips make excellent story starters for journal writing even if you can’t take the time to make it into an actual video. To use as a story starter, show the beginning of the short animation to your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector, then let students take over on classroom computers, working together, or writing a journal entry. After your students are familiar with the Zimmer Twins website, they can start a story from scratch. Students could direct “screen plays” of their writing, as a way to publish their finished work. Zimmer Twins would make an excellent alternative to the traditional book report. Students could create a movie where the main character is being interviewed, the story is being summarized, or retold. Students could also create movies about historical events, describing a science experiment or concept, in math as a story problem, to demonstrate understanding of character education or for vocabulary practice. My students have really enjoyed creating movies to show what they have learned on any topic, it is always a sure winner! Are you looking for new ways to engage your students? Why not create a Zimmer Twins original yourself to introduce a new topic. If you are looking for more great ideas for using Zimmer Twins in your classroom, be sure to check out the lesson plans on the teacher page, there are some good ones.
Tips: Students can create a movie on Zimmer Twins without registering; however, they will not be able to save their creation. Creating an account requires an email address. If this presents a problem in your classroom you can do a few things: 1. create a classroom account that every student logs into and saves their videos on. Students will need to include their first name or a class number in the title of their video to differentiate it from others in the class. 2. Set up an account for each student using your email account. You will have to check this email account to provide your students with their passwords. 3. Ask parents to set up accounts for their kids to use at school.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zimmer Twins in your classroom.