The following ideas can be used to help students acquire the literacy skills necessary to understand the way video texts work to convey meaning. This understanding is built up over time as students discuss, analyze and produce texts of increasing complexity. The activities can be adapted to use with students from primary through to the end of secondary.
These activities can be part of a larger project or they can stand alone as short lessons to help students develop particular understandings.
Help students learn some of the codes and conventions of video texts by creating a storyboard for a simple television commercial. It is best to choose a commercial that uses a limited number of shots. (Examples for commercial storyboards to use as models can be found here.)
Building on the previous activity, have students work as a team to brainstorm ideas for a new product of interest to children their age and create a short infomercial or commercial for the product.
Extend the above activity by having students work with a team on the actual production and editing of their commercials. The same process can be used to produce a variety of media genres. For example students can plan out the production of :
Videos, regardless of the purpose or genre, e.g. television commercial, a documentary or a situation comedy, use narrative structures. The following activities will help students think about the story that is being told, its purpose, and the way it is being told.
Questions for Looking at Narrative Structure