Course Timetable Tales for Tots Make a video story book

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Course Timetable

Tales for Tots
Make a video story book

  1. Getting started

  1. Moving on and using computers

  1. Planning the video

  1. Video rehearsals

  1. Showtime…filming the stories

  1. Edit the video

  1. Create the DVDs

  1. Final discussion and course evaluation

What next?

Developed by James Tate

Tales for Tots video stories
The Process
A minimum of eight two-hour sessions is recommended with the need for good attendance emphasised.

  • Participants are recruited from an existing group of parents of young children

  • Planned activities and expected outcomes are discussed with participants with an emphasis on the need for independent work between scheduled sessions

  • The technical process is described and demonstrated – how the video will be made, software potential and limitations

  • Story scripts are written, proof read by peers and support staff and edited with insertion points for graphics and sound effects (try to keep these simple and to a minimum)

  • Rehearsals: participants read their stories on camera. Some may turn out to be good enough for the final product; some may need to be done again

  • Graphics (clipart), background music and sound effects are gathered. Support staff demonstrate how these will be inserted into the video

  • Videos can be saved to hard drive and/or USB memory stick. Burning to DVD requires additional software

  • Over and above the scheduled class time, staff can expect to commit up to four additional hours per story to admin and ICT work

A possibility that hasn’t been explored yet is to make a video entirely from graphics (photographs and/or clipart) with the author narrating the story in the background using the Photo Story 3 programme. It might work for learners who’d like to write a story but freak out at the idea of being filmed. It could also reduce time committed to the project.

This method might also work with other projects such as Health Issues, Healthy Eating, life stories, research and community projects.











Handout 1

Creating a video story book

Course handout 1
Your task

In this activity you will work in a group to look at developing a short story of your own that you can read to your child(ren). You will then go on to produce that story as a video story using a digital video camera.

What you will learn
In this activity you will:

  • work with others to achieve your goals

  • learn the basics of using video equipment and software

  • develop creative writing skills and ideas

  • improve your speaking skills and personal presentation skills

  • learn how to develop new activities in your relationship with your child(ren)

What you need to do
Group discussion
In the group, each member should share their favourite childhood story. Explain why you enjoyed it? What made it such a good story?
Developing your own story
See pages 2 and 3 for some story themes to help you get started with some ideas for your stories. Discuss them in your group and choose one you particularly like or come up with your own idea and try to work out a beginning, middle and end for your story. Later you will write your story and think about ways to present it, roles to be played and any props to be used.

The bear and the hare


A magic surprise


Teddy bears picnic


Little Miss Sunshine


A naughty dog runs away


Harry the happy helicopter


Wondermum saves the day


The laughing cow


Monkey mischief


Creche Kids


The cookie jar


A brilliant birthday


The magic rabbit


The sweetie shop


Cosmic capers


A silly donkey


A day at the beach


Away day


Disastrous Dinner


The toy making machine


Tony the talking train


Harry the hungry hippo


Tales for Tots

Course notes: Part 1
Introductions – who’s who and what will we be doing?
Discussion – what kind of story do toddlers like? How do we go about making up a story? How long should it be? If we’re reading it on video, what else do we need – characters, background, props?
Make a start – decide what we’re going to write about – it can be anything at all because we can always change it later. Make notes about the storyline, characters and events – how does it start, what happens, how does it end? Make a storyboard – draw squares in a line on paper, draw pictures in the squares with notes to say what’s happening (no artistic ability required).
What have we done so far? – discuss notes and storyboards, exchange ideas, make suggestions.
What next? – take your work home and have a think about it. Do you want to change anything? Can you have a go at writing it on paper? Can you practice reading it out loud to see what it sounds like so far? Make notes of anything you want to say or ask at the next session.

Tales for Tots
Course notes: Part 2
Reflections – revise what we did last week and discuss what more we’ve done with our work since the last session?
Discussion – any questions, comments or suggestions? Feedback on each other’s work so far.
Move on with the story – look at structure, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Do we have a finished version? Can we tidy it up? Do you want to let someone else read your story to the class?

What have we done so far? – do we need to do anything to improve our stories? How can we ‘decorate’ our stories? Do we want to add pictures or drawings?

How about getting your work on computer? – even if you have no computer skills yet you can get all the help you need to create your story on a computer and get a printed version.
Do you want to read your story out to the class? – you might want to practice reading it out to let others give you feedback on how it sounds so far.

Tales for Tots
Course notes: Part 3
Reflections – revise what we did last week and discuss what more we’ve done with our work since the last session?
Discussion – any questions, comments or suggestions? Any other thoughts or ideas we should discuss?
Planning the video – look at each story and discuss how it could be presented. What order should they run in? Do we want to use images between video clips? Do we need any sound effects? Do we to use make-up or props? Do we need background music?
Make a video storyboard – sketch out how we think the video should look – title slides, camera angles, special effects, close ups or distant shots, credits at the end.
Do a first rehearsal off camera – just run through the stories one by one to get a feel for the content and a rough idea of the running time.
Discuss and agree on any changes – do the stories need tweaking or does the running order need to be changed? Are we ready to start video rehearsals next week?

Tales for Tots

Course notes: Part 4

Rehearsals – Anyone nervous? How will we do it? Is it going to be one person speaking or are others involved?

How about sound effects? It might help if there are others involved in the reading – different voices for different characters could be provided by others in the group.

Dress Rehearsal – Readings in front of the camera (not turned on). How did that go?

Now we turn the camera on and try again. Look at the results is that OK or do we want to do it again?

There’s always the option to do it again until we’re satisfied with the result.
Is that your final answer? – At some point we have to draw a line under it all and say, “That’s it – it’s all done and dusted”.

Apart from anything else, we’re running out of time. Time to move on to the next stage – making the video.

Tales for Tots
Course notes: Part 5

Making the video – Now we’ll move on to the computer and see how we load the stuff we’ve got in the camera to the video editing programme.
Edit the video Adding effects, transitions and music.

There’s a lot of choices here but we have to be careful not to fiddle about with it too much. The point of the video is the story and too much special effects or music that’s too loud can be very distracting. Less is better!

View the results – We’ll watch the movie on the computer and see if it looks good enough. This is the stage where we have to be prepared to listen to others. Someone else’s point of view may be very different from our own but, with sensible discussion, we should be able to agree on any points that are raised. If someone doesn’t like something there should be a good reason for changing it – not just because “it’s not the way I would have done it”.

Burn it – Anyone got a box of matches? No, this is where we ‘burn’ the finished video to a blank DVD disc. We’ll also discuss and agree on the design for the disc case insert – the words and picture on the front of the case. That will be done separately because we don’t have the software for that on this computer.

Tales for Tots
Course notes: Part 6

It’s done – We’ll view the finished disc(s) and have a final talk about it.
Course assessment – How did it go? What did we enjoy most? What would we change if we did it again?
What next? – OK, we’ve done that, are we going to leave it there or are we inspired to do more of the same?

How about continuing as a writing group – maybe write more short stories about the characters we’ve created.

Or something else?

There are plenty of opportunities to bring more learning into your life. Look at some of the options and discuss what you’d like to do. Don’t leave it too long – don’t let it go off the boil.

You’ve proved that you can learn new things – be proud of your achievements and move forward – the sky’s the limit.

Adult Learning Team

Community Education Base

Park Street

Falkirk FK1 1RE

01234 501711

Tales for Tots

What Next?

  • Now that you’ve successfully completed your Tales for Tots course what do you think you might do next?

  • In your story you created characters that might want to have more adventures…have you thought about writing more stories? Maybe a series of adventures around your main character with a view to creating a ‘book’ of stories on computer?

  • You might think about involving your child(ren) in any future projects. You could encourage them to make up their own stories and help to write them. Reading and writing with your children can benefit them in school and you can take pride in being a key element in their education.

  • You’ve learned the basics of using ICT to create a video; maybe you could come up with other ideas for video, for example; community activities, local history, a trip out somewhere, a video diary of a special event?

  • A lot of these activities are best done as a group so it’s sometimes good to get together with others with similar interests to share tasks and responsibilities.

  • You might also think about asking for classes in a particular field that your group is interested in – maybe increase your core skills in reading, writing, communication. How about working with numbers in measuring, money, time, graphical information?

Did you know that you could get a certificate for working in these core skills areas?

Ask your tutor – you might be surprised at what you can achieve.

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