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TAOTS Student Documentaries! by Mind Map: TAOTS Student
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TAOTS Student Documentaries!

Students will be highlighting the special, unique and extraordinary features of our beloved school in a partnership with our media literacy coach and school staff. In preparation for this exciting venture, in 2013, 4th grade students began writing personal essays based on the claim: TAOTS is a school unlike any other! They used a graphic organizer to plan and write essays with a thesis, 3 supporting reasons, and a conclusion. They used how/when examples, personal anecdotes, and conclusions that leave the audience thinking. In their 5th Grade Year they are shooting a series of documentaries, event videos and music videos and are going to assemble them all into one long video for their graduation!

Documentary Production Roles

Camera Operator

Script Writer

Narration Writer

Sound Monitor

Video Editor

Special Effects & Title Editor

Advertising and Promotion

posters about the movies

blog posts on the website about the movies

What's a Documentary? (student discussion notes & "meta" videos)

What's a Documentary? Making of at TAOTS

Documentary Introduction; TAOTS 2013

Grade 4 Notes (Spring 2013)

Fiction or Nonfiction?, "They have facts in them, but also opinions", "Documentaries are about nonfiction characters, places, things, businesses, companies."

Why do people make them?, to prove something, to entertain, to give information about a topic (for learning), gives information, to persuade or advertise, to store data and information, peoples perspectives

Definition: a film or TV program presenting some facts and opinions about a person, place or event.

"You have to consider the source! Think about who's telling me the information, where's it coming from, and what kind of facts and information are they giving me."

"It's like 'documents' -- it can use documents from the past (like a newspaper article), or interviews."

Watch & Break Down Documentary Clips

Documentary Video Examples

Brooklyn Castle

PS 124 The Making of The Invisible Man

Super Size Me!

7 Up 1964

56 Up (clips) 2013

TAOTS Documentaries 2012-2015

Student Viewing Logs

NOTES: Grade 4 LOG (Spring '13): What we SAW // What we HEARD, "You show evidence of things", "You can infer things based on sound effects and the way they filmed characters.", "Shows that kids are independent: making beds, and walking to school by themselves", What we SAW, Visual Effects, Kids on camera talking (Interviews), Different locations: inside, outside,, Third Person, working on a film, You see interviews, interviewed students in library while working, interviews, text on the screen, What we HEARD, Narrator: giving information (Voice Over), Music, no narrator, Sound Effects, Background information, Narrator, Background Noise/Sounds

NOTES: Document This! Enrichment Cluster LOG (Fall '13), What we SAW, photos and videos, interviews, a sequence of someone's life, animation, titles and subtitle, What we HEARD, real live sounds, narrator- voice over, background music

What would be in a Documentary about TAOTS?

2015 Memoir Structure

Idea starters/Subjects, Life at TAOTS Life at HOME, how we feel about taots, interviews with Parents, Art, Events, Tribes Mixer, Tisdale Time, Dancing, Game Night, Gym Class, Trips/Graduation, Enrichment Clusters, Basketball, Creative Projects, Wix Website Making, Crew, Simona, Jay Z, Alessia, Kamil, Script, Essay, Research what we think is right about Chocolate milk or Plain milk., Held Debates to get more ideas, Wrote essays using Facts from milk cartons and videos and started persuasive essay, "That's basically what we do, is write in class, and combine it with technology." - Kamil "We use it to make a video or to make a website, for example" - Simona, Production, Google Drive, Typed it at home and in class, Revised the Essay and printed it., Our teachers commented on our work in Google Drive., "Mr. Rathan once commented on my essay overnight, and once I got back to class I made the revision." - Kamil, I was at my brothers' fencing thing, and I got bored because I finished my homework, so I checked my Drive, and I saw that my friend was online, so we starting working on my essay, and she gave me some ideas." - Simona, "I remember once, when my writing partner shared her essay with me, and I got to edit it at home and give her comments." - Alessia, Wix Website, Added and edited blog posts, We made about pages to say who we were., Most of it was make-believe, This was to express who we are, "The audience I was thinking of when I wrote this was kids and other parents.", "We tried to make them laugh, while still trying to give valid information about chocolate milk." - Kamil, "Mine was 99% fake" - Alessia, "Mine w, Added the popcorn video, Links to articles that supported our claim, The essay was on the home page, "We published it as a blog"so each part was a new blog post. - Alessia, Popcorn Maker, "In Mozilla Popcorn Maker, you can edit your own videos by making pop-ups, and layering videos or putting two or more videos together.", "So, for our milk project we took videos from Youtube that were against our opinion, and added Pop-ups to counter the argument the videos said., Publishing, People came to inspect our work, People in our class, and parents circulated around and looked at our websites., "Everyone just wanted to look at the about pages", "We were all using the same thing, but our websites were unique and stood out from each other." - jz, Legacies, things we did here, audience: younger grades, Recess, Spelling Bee

Topic/Idea, First times, last times, strong feelings, times I realized something., What does it mean to you now?, What advice related to this do you have for kids in the future


Interview someone in your family about what TAOTS means to you

Students come up with questions for a parent, or grandparent about what they've thought of TAOTS

Send home a letter to interested kids to see if any families would be ok with their kids bringing home a camera to interview their parents about what the school means to them.

Process, Shoot interview (camera home once) Edit the interview and make a B-Roll list Shoot B-Roll at home (camera home twice)

4th grade Mini Documentary Scripts (2013)

These are sounding like persuasive writing. These could be persuasive narration mixed with raw interviews.

It should be persuasive!

Themes, fun & safe, outstanding, no bullys/friendly environment, great teachers (interviews)

Introduction: What is TAOTS?, Persuasive "hook", What's this movie about?, What are people going to learn in this story?, Have you ever heard of a school called TAOTS? (Izzy), TAOTS, think about what that means: The Academy of Talented Scholars. Think about that (Izzy), It's a school unlike any other... The fun everyday classes and activities make TAOTS original and different from other schools. ...and it's the prettiest thing in New York City! Whenever I am near TAOTS I always tell myself how lucky I am to be in this school. Really! (Izzy), "Have you ever wondered about sending your child to TAOTS? ...Is it hard? Think... Think... Think... Well, we gonna make it much easier for you by making a documentary about TAOTS! (Bozo), I (4th graders in this documentary) will tell you about the clean environment we have, good text books in color, and the big fantastic cafeteria! We will tell you about all the things that show why TAOTS is a unique school. (Bozo), "Yeah TAOTS!" Shawn

Body: Why is TAOTS Special to YOU?, Reflect or think back about K-4, 4-224's Claim: How great TAOTS is, special activies, enrichment clusters, special privileges, afterschool (free), specialty classes, science, gym, ballroom dance, art, extended day -- teachers push us, using the computer, people support students, PTO, great teachers, treats, test prep, new materials, other schools don't have all we have, smart boards, auditorium, library, science lab, 4-233 Notes, art, music, "activities & privileges", dance (sometimes, talent shows, (big) gym, movies - watching movies in auditorium, afterschool, enrichment clusters, book fairs, recess, library, test prep, cafeteria

Teachers & Staff, The teachers are sweet as honey, and they will always help you when you're stuck, or when you're blue. From problem solving to treat-giving, each teacher in TAOTS is equally awesome! (Izzy), What teacher would you want to interview?, What shots of teachers working would be good to show while we're saying these things?

Materials & Space: Brand New/Modern/Clean, The Building, TAOTS is amazing because we have upgraded materials, a library with plenty of books, and a lot of fun activities (like EC) and things like test prep that can help you in LIFE!" (Shawn), Science Lab, Smartboards, Computers/iPads, Library, Music, Did you know that TAOTS is the newest school building built in Bensonhurst in the past few years? It has beautiful architecture. When you walk down the sidewalk the school stands out with its bright colors. I know most schools are dark and very plain, but TAOTS brightens up your day just by looking at the modern architecture and bright, warm colors. Not only is TAOTS modern on the outside, but on the inside as well. This school is fully equipped from security cameras, to the smartboard and computers in each class. Now other 4th graders will...(E Vasylets 4-224), Classrooms, Smartboards, used 3/4 of the day, shows the periods of the day, Textbooks, Text Books: "You are probably wondering why I am talking about textbooks. Well, our textbooks are not ordinary black and white breakable or ripable textbooks. They are in color hard cover (some softcover) and you could learn from them really well. Moms out there you know some schools have ordinary textbooks, but we have extraordinary text books!" Bozo), Cafeteria, Bathroom, Tables, Some don't have them, Life in the Cafe, Fits 2 schools, Playground, Library, Huge, Computers, Books used for writing and reading, Plenty of Space to Sit down, Lots of Genres, Chairs for "peaceful reading", Big Gym, "Upgraded"

Specialty Classes, Science Lab, Music Class: Recorders, Practice at home, Take Tests, Belts like in Karate, Mr. Wagner

Enrichment Clusters

Afterschool Programs, Test Prep, TAOTS is special to me for the afterschool programs!!, An example of how is because of the test prep program. It helps kids get ready for the state test!!! It is on Mondays to Wednesdays. I always hear my friends tell me "test prep is torture! You're lucky, Haris, that you don't have to go to test prep. But I know that test prep helps them. So in my opinion they are lucky because they get extra practice." -Haris

Closing, "This is why I never want to leave TAOTS!!!" "Do you want to join us in TAOTS next year?"-Haris

Student & Teacher Interviews

Regular Classrooms

Soundtrack, all student sounds, student made music

HAPPY Music Video for Graduation

Opening, Teacher says: Timer goes off. The teachers say the ELA test is over. Now take Any questions?, KID STANDS UP: Lip syncing: Might sound crazy... 2X once from each class, Start the music with a FLASH, Teachers start serious, but then join the fun, Shot down the line of students (each side)

Memories that make you happy -- Watch old videos and edit them in iMovie, Tribes mixer (pictures and videos), Old videos, Logos, Bloopers

Dancing -- Choreography, People who film it, Breakdancing - fun, cheery, Bloopers of Dancing, Stop-motion poses, Dancing towards the camera, Dancing on the stage, Jump out the door into playground (match cut), Mass dancing outside, Slide Portal cut to new place, As many kids as possible on the playground, Spell out We [Heart] TAOTS (or Happy) with their bodies (in uniforms?), Heads popping out of doors (on a Tripod)

Photos from Events & Trips, 10 photos from the yearbook committee

Things 5th graders are good at -- Talk to 5th graders,, Gymnastics, Ballroom Dancing, Soccer, Singing along

People lip syncing, Mark, Arseniy, Shawn, Jacqueline, Mia

Kids recording original version of the song?

Location list

Model Video


Document This! Cluster

Alley Pond Trip: Action Shots

Micro Documentary using Social Media

Mixed with Rhys' big-picture shots

Philadelphia Trip Documentary

TAOTS Archive Highlights

Go through the archives of videos and photos from TAOTS since 2009

Choose excperts from best clips

Edit them into a story with narration, titles and music that tell your story

How we will make & share our Documentaries?

We will make lots of short documentaries and put them together into one long movie.

Working in Enrichment Clusters

Working on Small Class Documentary Projects connected to things like Reading Workshop

We will make them connected to our Media Literacy Cluster class

Our Process

Writing, kids will do pre-writing answering specific questions about TAOTS, kids will write narration to tie together clips they collect or shoot

Storyboarding, Rhys will put quotes from your writing into the mind map. You will storyboard what shots will go with these quotes. Then we go make it., Planning out how you will mix existing clips, Planning out how you will shoot events or classroom experiences

Filming, Interviews, B-Roll, Live Action, Trips, events, school experiences

Editing, Mix together the best parts of the shots from interviews, "B roll" and other media with music & words, pictures and effects., "Cut" or "Remix" existing videos into new vidoes

Sharing!, We will post short clips

Where can we show it?

Grade 4-233 Notes (Spring 2013), YouTube, TeacherTube, SchoolTube, big documentary on TV, Apps, Facebook, Google+, Ads or Commercials for TAOTS, on the website, Screening in the Auditorium

Who is our audience? Why should we make this?

Grade 4-233 Notes (Spring 2013), Teachers at this school, Why do this?, Kids at this school, Kids that want to go to this school, Parents (at this school or looking at this school)