Visual Literacy: Teaching Students How Video Can Fool the Viewer

One of the most important things we can teach students is to be a critical viewer of visual media. Can we believe everything we see?

My teaching partner and I created a 17-second iMovie:

We then gave students access to the 18 smaller clips from which the movie was made. The smaller clips prove that I'm not qualified to play in the WNBA.

Can students use those 18 smaller clips to re-create this same video? Fifth grade students require three 45-minute sessions to re-create this video on iMovie.

Yes, students learn the technology, but the full range of project objectives extends beyond the use of technology:

  • Understand that videos can be altered to persuade an audience to believe something that is not true.
  • Use iMovie and Google search questions to find answers to questions related to technology (i.e. How do I add a slide? Where can I find the background music?)
  • Read and follow multi-step directions regarding the use of iMovie.
  • Collaborate, asking for the expertise of others in the room.
  • Discuss ethical considerations involved in the creation and publication of media.

Once students have recreated this 17-second clip, they are prepared to do larger 3-minute projects in preparation for parent night. Details to follow.

If you subscribe to the original blog feed (, I can send you the original clips so that your students may re-create the video.

Views: 111

Tags: literacy, reading, technology, visual

Comment by Stephanie M. Robertson on October 23, 2011 at 1:53pm
This is an extremely creative idea. Did you give all the students their own set of the 18 clips? What was the success rate? Did they have access to the original video to check their own and see if it was the same?


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