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Learning Experience/Unit

Science Review Using Movie Maker by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES


English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

4th Grade, 8th Grade


Learning Context/ Introduction

This learning experience was designed to access prior knowledge and to help reinforce student understanding by reviewing any science units taught throughout the school year. This experience could be modified for use with many different subject areas. The experience is centered around the use of Movie Maker which the children have viewed the teacher using all year. The use of Movie Maker as a teaching tool has had tremendously positive impact on learning and teaching. Students gain a firm understanding of the concepts being reviewed.

Teachers can also prepare students for state assessments in a fun and enlightening way using this review method. Teachers can review previous lessons and include them in a culminating movie to review each chapter. This final science project will be team taught with the 8th grade science class who will be very familiar with the Movie Maker program. Teacher will pair up a 4th grader with an 8th grade buddy. Buddies will work together throughout learning experience. The 8th graders will be the lead person for the movie project, as they will have already gone through a unit on learning the Movie Maker program. The 4th graders will be the apprentices to the 8th graders.


5 Days (45-minute periods)

Essential Question

What are the major facts about your selected science topic (plants, animals, ecosystem, solar system, electricity, and pollution)?

Instructional/Environment Modifications

Classroom teacher will work one on one with Special Education Consultant teacher to modify student requirements for students with learning disabilities. Teachers will need to work more closely with these students on the computer and assist in organizational skills through each chapter so students gain understanding of all terms and concepts.


Teacher will pair up a 4th grader with an 8th grader and assign a science chapter to review. Buddies will re-read the chapter together completing teacher made graphic organizer, called "Chapter Storyboard" on required items to be included in Movie Maker project. Both 4th and 8th graders are already versed in the use of graphic organizers.

Working on the computers, buddies will begin to collect resources such as images, clips and other electronic media. Students will then start the movie project.

Buddies will use a graphic organizer to create a movie as a means of review to teach the other 4th grade students. Teams should be checking rubric to self-check progress.

Teams will complete and watch movie and self evaluate using the rubric.

Buddies will share chapter review movie with the other 4th graders.

Reflections and Feedback

I think this has been the most successful and productive review unit I have taught in my twenty-one years of teaching. The children were totally engaged in every step of the learning experience. The fourth graders and the eight graders were extremely motivated because they had a specific audience. Students took a great deal of ownership in their review projects. Students also had to read and re-read the information in order to put it into their own words and add graphics. This learning experience reinforces the science concepts, deepens their knowledge, and locks the science information into their memory banks.

I truly enjoyed this time with the fourth and eighth graders. This experience was very motivating for both levels of students and for myself as the teacher! I witnessed an increase in attentiveness, quality of work, participation level, and attendance. I also noticed a decrease in behavior problems. I will definitely teach this learning experience again. I plan to use this experience again this year. However, I will not wait until the end of the year. I will use it at the end of the semester as a review. This learning experience can easily be adapted to any other subject. Next time I do this experience, I would like to add a mini peer review session. I would like to have the children meet in small groups to offer each other some constructive comments. Children will have the opportunity to revise before going in front of the entire group. I would include the ELA 3.04.RE1.06 to assess.

Student Work

Graphic Organizer Storyboard of required items
Students create movie project
see attached samples

  • Sample Movie 1
  • Sample Movie 2
  • Sample Movie 3
  • Related Resource

    McGraw Hill 4th Grade Science Textbook
    Prior New York State ESPET Assessments
    Microsoft XP Movie Maker (A digital editing program similar to iMovie)
    Science Notebooks
    Chapter Storyboard
    Movie Maker Rubric

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