On Monday past, I emcee’d a Film Festival for students in Junior and Senior High. The festival was a huge hit thanks to my amazing team of colleagues and dozens of talented teens. But my proudest moment of the evening was one video in particular – created by a kindergarten class.

Before you watch this inspiring video, let me tell you a little bit about it.

This was a 2 month process, from start to finish. Kids making a volcano – it was huge – and amazingly executed by the teacher, Ms Abel. They chose what to make. They went to the library. They watched videos. They read books. They painted.

Students picked the perfect 7 seconds of a video clip to tell the story

But during all of this, there were 2 iPads available to the students. They learned to take video. How to hold the iPad. What to point it at. They learned how to press the record button with their little hands – being a camera man is a two person job when you’re that small. They learned interview skills: “Dominic, what are you doing?….Ok, why are you doing that?”. They learned to answer interview questions. And, to look at the camera or the person asking. They learned how to edit, and make choices. Over 100 minutes of raw footage created a 3 minute video. Three or four minute clips were cut down. Students picked the perfect 7 seconds of a video clip to tell the story and keep it interesting. They did that. They made those choices. They chose to do voice overs when they wanted their speaking to be more clear. THEY chose this.

This is about students telling their story in a way that is meaningful to them. And that is what creating films is all about. And I can’t wait until each of these little dudes and dudettes are in junior and senior high – just imagine what they will be capable of by then.

When you give students the chance to be great, they will be

So, why was this the most important lesson of my career? Well, for me, it was the full realization that kids – even the youngest ones in our schools – can do amazing things. Incredible things that will blow you away. It requires hard work, planning, and passion from the adults, but when you give students the chance to be great, they will be. I’ve never believed that more than when this video was shown at a film festival for secondary students, and took the audience by surprise.

Thank you Ms. Abel’s kindergarten class, for teaching me something I could never learn from a book.

Also a special thank you to Ms. Abel and Mrs. Kolt who took on every challenge they faced during this project with a smile and enthusiasm.

 

 

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