Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Roll the Tape!
Lesson 3
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


The purpose of this lesson is for the students to produce a video presentation. The video demonstrates the characteristics of the middle school with the purpose of informing students of what to expect when they come to middle school. It will be presented to the fifth graders who are moving to the middle school in the coming year.


Ten to Fourteen Fifty-Minute Class Periods


The learners will:
  • determine important and special aspects of the school.

  • acquire skills in video taping.

  • interview teachers and students.

  • cooperate with other students in small groups.

  • create a video about the school.

  • edit video footage.

  • write a script to go along with the video.

  • present the video to a group of younger students.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

Students present their video to a group of fifth grade students who will be entering the middle school in the fall.


  • video cameras (may be on phones)
  • digital video editing software
  • Generated list from Lesson One: My Part in the School Community of important or unique things about our school
  • Responsibility Sheet (Attachment One)
  • Footage Rubric (Attachment Two)
  • Script Rubric (Attachment Three)
  • Small-Group Finished-Project Rubric (Attachment Four)
  • Parent-Release Form for students to be photographed or video taped (Attachment Five)
  • Newsprint
Handout 1
Friendly-Letter Rubric
Handout 2
Sample Letter
Handout 3
Script Rubric
Handout 4
Small-Group Finished-Product Rubric
Handout 5

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Review the generated list from Lesson One: My Part in the School Community of important or unique things to know about their school. Ask if there is anything that they would like to add to the list.

  • As a class, come up with a theme or title that will drive the format of the video. Keep in mind that the length of the video should be 10 minutes or less. Ideas: Walking Through a Day at (your school’s name); The Top Ten Things to Know about Your School; What People Are Saying about Your School. Once the theme has been decided, divide the class into groups of three-four students. Assign each group a sub-topic or two (sub-topics will come from the list of important or unique things about the school such as lunchtime, teachers, principal, classes, first day, etc.).

  • Give each group a digital video camera to work with and a videotape with their group number or name written on it. Each group should always keep the same tape throughout to avoid confusion and loss of footage.

  • The small groups work cooperatively to plan their section of the movie, obtain the video footage, complete the editing, write the script and so on. Therefore, it is important that some thought is put into how the groups are formed.

  • Each group discusses its plan for their section of the movie. They need to know how many minutes they will have in all. They should plan exactly what scenes they will tape and who in the group will be responsible for taping and interviewing. All students should have equal responsibilities. The Responsibility Sheet. (Attachment One) is a planning sheet for this stage. Interviews should be set up in advance and accommodate the schedules of those involved.

  • Teacher note: Before the students begin video-taping, teach the basic skills of how to use a digital video camera, how to interview, how to make a good recording and what is appropriate behavior while recording and working. (All students appearing in the video must have a Parent-Release Form on file (see Attachment Five).

  • Teacher note: It is recommended that an e-mail or notice be sent to all staff to inform them of the video project. In this note it is also helpful to ask staff to notify you, the teacher, if they see any inappropriate behavior.

  • As students complete the project and collect their footage, they use the Footage Rubric as a guide (Attachment Two). The teacher also uses this rubric for grading the footage and work of each group.

  • Teach the students the basics of iMovieβ or other software for editing. This may take a whole class period. Show them how to download their video footage and start work on editing.

  • It is best to use one computer and have the groups come up in shifts to download and edit. While one group is editing footage, the others may be writing their scripts, collecting more video footage or completing other class work. Students may use the Script Rubric (Attachment Three) as a guide for writing scripts. The teacher will use the rubric for grading the scripts.

  • Since this project takes several days, it is helpful to take an informal assessment halfway through the project. Have all the students write how they feel everything is going in their groups. Direct the students to write their feelings on their group’s progress and participation of all of the group members. Keep this information confidential so students will be honest. Help the students solve any issues before the project continues further.

  • When all of the editing has been completed, the teacher should check to make sure that it looks good and that it isn’t too long (total length about 10 minutes). There is a tendency of students to keep too much footage so they may need guidance in this area.

  • All of the scripts should be collected and graded by the teacher using the Script Rubric (Attachment Three). It is important to make sure that there isn’t any overlapping of information between groups and that the script lines up with the footage.

  • As the students complete their final editing, they use the Small-Group Finished-Product Rubric (Attachment Four) as a guide. The teacher also grades using the criteria on this rubric.

  • The teacher puts the work of all the groups into one seamless movie.

  • Once the entire video has been put together, it is time to add the script as a sound track. The class can either pick a student to read the script or the teacher may choose a student. Then the chosen speaker will read the script into the video through the microphone.

  • After completing the video, watch the completed video with the whole class. This is very exciting for them. They are now ready to take their video to the fifth-grade classes.


The assessments will be done using the rubrics (Attachments One-Four: Responsibility Sheet, Footage Rubric, Script Rubric, and Small-Group Finished-Product Rubric). Additionally, the teacher should observe the level of cooperation in each group.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

  • If the teacher wants to add a career component, a guest speaker could be brought in to speak about videography or camera work.

  • The students may conduct a survey of parents to find out their concerns for the fifth graders. The middle-school students use the information to make up an information packet about their school to send to the families.

  • Instead of going to the elementary school with the video, the middle schoolers invite the fifth graders to come to the middle school. The older students give tours and show the video.

Lesson Developed By:

Sarah Watkin
Zeeland Public Schools
Cityside Middle School
Zeeland, MI 49464


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Friendly-Letter Rubric

Group Name:
Group Number:

Group Member Taping Item to Be Video Taped Type (interview, candid, still shot, etc.) Date

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Sample Letter

Group Name:

Item Points Possible Points Received
Completed Responsibility Sheet
Covered all assigned items
All team members videotaped
Close enough to speaker/object
Speakers are audible
Sufficient time before and after Interviewee speaks
Variety of people in candid shots
Lighting and background
No background noise
Steady; no shaking
  Total: 100 Total:

Handout 3Print Handout 3

Script Rubric

Group Name:

Item Points Possible Points Received
Completed on time
Comprehensive: doesn’t leave out important information that should be included
Script follows video footage
Neatly written
Complete sentences
Correct length of time for video clip
Organized: spaced and numbered to differentiate video clip
  Total: 55 Total:

Handout 4Print Handout 4

Small-Group Finished-Product Rubric

Group Name:

Item Points Possible Points Received
Good length of entire section (2-3 minutes)
Good length of still clips (2-3 seconds)
Good length of interview clips (15-20 seconds)
Complete video clips: have not cut people off
Smooth transitions between clips
Sound and video match well- no overlapping into next clip
All possible background noise has been extracted
Added titles are spelled correctly; no overlapping into next clip
Organized – good flow of pictures and script
Covered all assigned topics
  Total: 100 Total:


Handout 5Print Handout 5


Dear Parent/Guardian:

Our school is participating in a curriculum project centered on the core democratic principles, especially individual action for the common good. My participation in this project, which is being conducted by the Council of Michigan Foundations’ Learning To Give (LTG) project, is voluntary. One of the primary purposes of the Project is to enhance student learning and encourage responsible citizenship.

The project might include short videotapes or photographs of lessons taught in your child's class. Although the videotapes and photographs involve both the teacher and various students, the primary focus is on the teacher's instructional lesson and student activities. In this class, your child may appear on the videotape or in photographs. Also, at times during the year, I may be asked to submit samples of student work as evidence of teaching practice and student accomplishment; that work may include some of your child's work.

No last names will appear on any materials that are submitted. No materials or images will be used for financial gain. Some materials or images may be used for educational not-for-profit publication and distribution by Learning To Give. The form below will be used to document your permission for these activities.



Student Name: ________________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________

School/Teacher: ____________________________________________________________________________

I am the parent/legal guardian of the child named above. I have received and read your letter regarding teacher participation in Learning To Give and agree to the following:

____ I DO give permission to you to include my child's image on videotape or photographs as he or she participates in a class conducted at ________________________________ by ________________________________ (School)
(Teacher's Name)
to reproduce materials that my child may produce as part of classroom activities. No last names will appear on any materials submitted by the teacher. Any materials or images used by Learning To Give is for educational not-for-profit purposes.
____ I DO NOT give permission to videotape my child or to reproduce materials that my child may produce as part of classroom activities.

Signature of Parent or Guardian: ________________________ Date: _________________

Philanthropy Framework:

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