Making a Doodle Video with your Class

Doodle songs/videos are a great activity you can do with your class! They really promote contextualized learning and motivate students because you have a final product and of course – there is music!  They are the perfect example of SCC or Student Created Content.

I was asked by a member for some info. about creating one – so in the name of education, here is my simple guide. A few short steps and tips.
First, what is a doodle video? Well, it is simply drawings that support the lyrics of the song. Students make the drawings and then they are each photographed and put together with the music to make a video. Project Peace actually is a doodle video of a sort too, see examples there.  Just use a peace pack to put together your doodle video about peace.
This is probably the most popular doodle video we’ve ever done.

So, how to make one?

1. Choose a song.

This isn’t such an easy thing! Find out what your students like/want and balance that with a song that has repetition (for learning) and also isn’t so fast. A fast song doesn’t work too well because the images/words flash by so so fast. “I gotta feeling” works because it follows these few simple selection rules.
2. Learn the Song.
Also important, don’t get ahead of yourself! Students should learn the song with a song sheet or if you are ambitious, make a karaoke or find a “subbed” version on youtube. The students should be familiar with the song. Then, show them a doodle video and tell your class, you are going to turn the song into a doodle!
3. Get organized – Get drawing!
A good tip here is to pair students up. Number each line of the song and put the number and the lyric line, on the back of each piece of A4 paper (so you can keep track- Very Important!). Give each pair or student, a line of the song and ask them to draw a picture to help show the meaning of the line.
Another tip. Get the students to fold the bottom of the piece of paper and write their lyric line there, nice and big, in clear print. The picture goes above. This will save you from having to put subtitles on when you make the video. It will save you time – BIG time and also make a more attractive video.
Monitor, encourage and get the doodle pictures done!
4. Camera and Production time!
After you have all the pictures finished in order (and note, lines that repeat mean the picture could have on the back and represent line 6,7,8 – for example) – take out your camera and take a photo of each. Put the doodle on a nice clear background and make sure the lighting is good. Even get a student to do this for you! I’m a clutz with a camera and my students do a much better job. Even get them making the video if possible!
Yes, now that you have the photos – upload them to your computer. Now, it is time to make the video.
a) Open up Windows Movie Maker – a free program on every PC computer. Click START and then select this little icon. If you have Windows 7, WMM won’t automatically be on your computer – you’ll have to download and install it yourself. Go HERE. Microsoft has a great tutorial site for using WMM and also visit the WMM forum for tips.
b) Now you will have to put the photos into WMM, add the mp3 file of the song and then “sync” or “time” them both together. Finally, “Produce” as a movie. Produce as an mp4 or Avi, these are the better quality and most sharable formats. This process isn’t as hard as you think. In the name of brevity – watch this tutorial video on how to do this in WMM or get a colleague to help. As mentioned, get your students making the video if possible! It is their creation and they probably have skills way beyond the teacher (many do).
5. Watch, Share, Enjoy!
Put it up here on EFL Classroom 2.0 and your school’s website. Get many students watching it. They will learn English as they enjoy it.
To end – here is probably the video that started the whole “doodle” craze. If you haven’t seen it previously, enjoy!

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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1 Response

  1. alison salm says:

    Lovely resource – and very versatile for different skills and levels – I did one with my 6 year old as a trial and thoroughly enjoyed it!

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