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Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Tell and Show: Writing With Words and Video

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Nine 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Barbara K. Strassman, Ed.D.

Ewing, New Jersey

Sheila Donahue

Boston, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Digital video camera

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Recordable DVDs

  • LCD projector (optional)

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Comparison and Contrast Guide

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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1. If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, reserve nine sessions in your school's computer lab. Note that for Session 1, you need only one computer with Internet access; for the other sessions, each student needs a computer to work on.

2. Review the Instruction and Activities. Sessions 1 and 2 are preparatory and are intended to help students understand the concept of captioning and how to write captions for videos. The rest of the lesson plan has students working on a project to create a video about middle school.

3. Visit NCAM Authoring With Video and read the Project Home and Teacher Resources pages. This site gives an overview of MAGpie, free captioning software for video clips, which you will use during this lesson. You can also view a sample video clip that was made using this software.

4. Download the MAGpie software onto the computers students will be using. The download is free, but is a complex four-step process. You may want to get help from your school's media specialist. Links to instructions can be found on the download page.

5. Download and review the Authoring With Video Student Manual. Follow the instructions to create your own sample video so you are familiar with the process and able to help your students. There is a sample video you can use to create captions available on the MAGpie Teacher Resources page. Make a copy of the manual for each student in your class.

6. Create a free account for yourself on Teachers' Domain. Once you have an account, enter the word unhinged into the search box and view the first two minutes of the video clip with this title that appears in the results. If possible, arrange to show this video to students using an LCD projector during Session 1. If not, have students view it on individual computers in the lab. Be sure that the captions and sound are off when your students first watch the video.

7. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Comparison and Contrast Guide and the Interactive Venn Diagram (or the Alike or Different? Venn Diagram if you prefer to use a printout instead). Bookmark these resources on the computers students will be using.

8. Make one copy of Unhinged Comparison: Images to Text and the Student Writing Checklist for each student in your class. You may also choose to copy Visual Footage and Text for your students to use during Session 1.

9. Students will need a video for which to use their essays as captions. Arrange to use a digital video camera to create this video. You can use either Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to edit and produce your video. For more information about using this software, see iMovie HD Support, the Windows Movie Maker Instruction Sheet or Create Home Movies Effortlessly With Windows Movie Maker 2. If you use Movie Maker to create your video, you should save the file in the AVI format.

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