What it is: National Geographics Wildlife Filmmaker lets students make custom nature films complete with animal video clips, sounds, music, and text captions. The site is easy to use and films can be saved on the site or shared through email.
How to integrate Wildlife Filmmaker into the classroom: Wildlife Filmmaker is an excellent place for students to display knowledge after researching wildlife. Research on different animals can be completed right from the National Geographic website or collected from several sources. Students put a lot of thought into their wildlife videos since they are shared with other students. Students can send their videos to you via email for grading and sharing with the rest of the class. Plan a film festival where you can use a projector to show students finished products. Wildlife Filmmaker can also be used as a creative writing activity. Students can select video clips and use the caption tool to write a story about what is happening in the film (these get very creative!) Additionally the site would make a nice basic introduction to movie editing because of its use of timelines. It would be a great activity to lead into using iMovie HD where timelines are used to separate sound tracks and video.
Tips: The National Geographic site does contain advertisement banners. I use the advertisements as a mini lesson to teach students how to recognize the difference between ads and site content. We also discuss what the purpose of website ads.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Wildlife Filmmaker in your classroom.