Teaching with photos using ANIMOTO

Animoto is a tool in which you can create videos which contain only pictures, a few words and very short video clips. It’s pretty neat, handy, easy to use and I would definitely use it in the classroom.  The one major downside, (for me) is that the video contains this annoying “ANIMOTO” lingo in the background of all of your photos, text and videos.  This is particularly annoying because it makes it hard to read what you may write in a “text slide”.  I also did not like how the pictures seemed warped and didn’t display the entire image.  Here is the video I made, meant for any French level, it contains photos of many of the cities I visited in France, (all photos and the one video were taken by me.)

Voyageons en train

For this activity, I would show this video to the class and tell them to have out a sheet of paper for taking notes on the cities that stand out to them.  Then I would show the video a second time and have them take notes on certain images they saw that caused these cities to be appealing for them personally. They would also be required to note one city that looks least appealing to them, or perhaps totally unappealing.  If you watched the video I made, you will notice that I did NOT include Paris as one of the cities so that the students can get exposure to the other parts of France. One of my major ideas for using this video would be as an opener to a bigger project for the students.  After watching the video and jotting down their top 2 or 3 favorite cities, students would:

–> discuss with a partner their favorite city and why ( J’aime _(insert city)_ parce que (j’aime la mer/ les batiments sont beaux…etc)
–> present the city that their partner liked and disliked the most.  ( Mon partenaire, Emily aime Marseille parce qu’elle pense que cette ville est la plus belle. Emile n’aime pas Bordeaux parce qu’il pleut trop la bas.  )
**Students would be encouraged to make something up about the city simply by their impressions of the pictures shown of the city.  I would tell the students that it was OK to be “wrong” and in a way they can’t be wrong because everyone is entitled to their own impressions.  One person may love the ocean and another may hate it, for example.

After students talked about the cities that their partner liked/ disliked, I would take a tally on the board of what cities were in each student’s top 2.  This would be interesting to see how the results varied between classes and what cities seemed most appealing simply by the few photos shown.  Marseille looks beautiful to me through photos but it was not one of my favorite cities.  It’s interesting because Avignon did not photograph super well in my opinion but it WAS one of my favorite cities.  I could possibly discuss this with the class as well…the qualities of some of the cities that can’t be captured via photo.


The project to follow this activity would be for students to select one of the cities mentioned in the video, (not Paris) and create a presentation on the city with the following formats being possible:

-tourist brochure/ pamphlet
-PowerPoint presentation
-another idea that the individual student may have, to be discussed with teacher

The students would have 2 weeks to complete this project and would present their city to the class.  In levels French 1-3, students would be permitted to use a combination of French and English.  For upper levels, 4 and 5, students would be expected to present the project in French only.  Students would be required to mention at least 3 interesting facts about the city, at least 3 key tourist attractions, where it is located in France and other information pertaining to touristic elements.  Some of my goals would be for students to discover one of the cities in France other than Paris and as a result, be able to talk about this city to their peers, playing the role of the instructor.  The students would also be able to learn from their peers through their presentations of cities that they didn’t do.  The students who would be watching their classmate’s presentation would be required to write down at least one question about the presentation or city.

I really liked this site and would definitely use it in class however the two major negatives that I mentioned before would definitely be a factor.  I enjoyed creating this video though since I am quite passionate about France and I love to share the beauty of the country that is beyond Paris.  I will use this video in class one day.


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