Mr Finlayson

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Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

The Highwayman 2

Posted by alexfinlayson on September 1, 2009

flip_videoMy guys are steaming ahead with their music videos for Loreena McKennitts rendition of The Highwayman – all filming is complete – now were are focussing on editing. I thought I would share a wonderful little trick one of my girls came up with while using the FlipVideo and Movie Maker – it’s very simple, very effective and I hadn’t thought of it… so well done, erm… we’ll call her ‘Bess’

At the end of The Highwayman our heroes are resurrected as ghosts – it’s a haunting end – and by using a Flip Video, Bess has made a very effective image of that resurrection. By having an actor play dead and then sitting up WITHOUT moving the camera – the image can be manipulated in Movie Maker to give a very creepy ghost effect.

I’ve re-created it here using my own image… when I get my class blog up and running I’ll provide a link for that (all images are thumbnails)

Step one is to import the video MM1




Step two is to place the video on the timeline of Movie Maker and Capture an imageMM1




Step three is to place this image at the start of the timeline and extend its length (greater than the length of the video)MM3




Step four is to add any special effects you wish onto the video (Bess chose {slow down half} and {greyscale}MM4




Step Five is to drag the video ontop of the still image thus merging them.MM5



You can view the video on the right sidebar in my Vodpod Widget (I’m too cheap to pay for the video upgrade) It’s called Mr F’s Ghost – I have to say though – the one Bess did is much better.

All the best, Mr F


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The Highwayman 1

Posted by alexfinlayson on August 26, 2009

My class are working on a poetry/media assignment  for which they are producing music videos set to Loreena McKennitt’s rendition of the classic Alfred Noyes poem The Highwayman.

We have studied the poem extensively (if you aren’t familiar with it – I urge you to read it – the TeacherFirst website provides a brilliant interactive study for your class)

and my guys are working hard on their filming, art work and animations for the video. One of the ‘extras’ of the assignment was to write to Loreena McKennitt – we received this in reply



Loreena McKennitt

How awesome is that! Many thanks to Loreena McKennitt!

You can listen to her song on YouTube

or here


Doctors order: let it load, turn the lights off, turn the volume up, get a nice drink, close your eyes and enjoy… repeat as necessary

All the best, Mr F

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Posted by alexfinlayson on July 25, 2009


Storyline To Be A Drum

I hope you all check out this little gem – especially lower grade teachers – Storyline – Famous stories read by famous people.


It’s great, I’ve been playing around on it all morning and just had to write a little something about it even though its Saturday and I clearly haven’t used it in class.

Some of the celebrities might not be well known to the kids but when it’s the likes of James Earl Jones (who, lets face it, is the voice of Hollywood) I don’t think it will matter…

Presented by the Screen Actors Guild it takes well known children’s stories – To Be A Drum, The Polar Express, Sophie’s Masterpiece, The  Night I Followed The Dog to name but a few and shows videos (your choice of bandwidth) of celebrities reading them. The celebs I looked at were James Earl Jones, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood and Amanda Bynes – all were really well done.

In ClassStoryline Activities

Well as I said its Saturday and I haven’t yet had the chance to use this in class but I definately see it having a place.

  1. Reading group activites
  2. Individual readings
  3. Silent reading for lower ability kids (subtitles of text can be displayed on-screen for them to follow)
  4. As a class project – make a vodcast/website of the same thing with your kids doing the reading.
  5. Generic literacy activities – using some of the many Activity Ideas that come with every story.

Has anyone been using this? Care to share any ideas or comments? I’m going to see about implementing it into my literacy work this work – I’ll start with idea 1 but I reckon idea 4 with the poetry my guys are writing at the moment would be great.

Storyline James Earl JonesAll the best, Mr F

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