As we began our 1:1 journey with Chromebooks at Angola High School this year, I actively began looking for ways to use our new technology for true modification and redefinition of my standard lesson plans. One of my favorite units each year is a music and poetry unit where students examine universal themes in music and poetry and analyze song lyrics for poetic conventions. These two weeks are usually cited as favorites by my students, and I am happy that technology made it even more memorable. My students collaboratively turned their own, original poetry into songs using Soundtrap and marketed the music to a targeted audience through a commercial they created using Animoto. For the complete assignment, click here.
The first step was to write a poem, and then turn it into a song using soundtrap.com. I chose Soundtrap to create our songs because:
- It is user-friendly (you don't need to be a professional musician to make it work)!
- It is web-based and works on any device!
- It allows for collaboration, so more than one student can work on the song at the same time!
- The free version contains plenty of features for the amateur musician!
- Students can sign up/log in with Google!
- The finished product is easily shared through email, Twitter, Facebook, and more!
I directed students to these two videos for help with choosing and adding loops for their songs and collaborating. The Chromebook microphone was powerful enough to record their voices, and a handful of talented students even explored the other tutorials at soundtrap.com to use virtual instruments or their own live instruments!
The other piece of the project was to market the song to a selected audience through a 30 second commercial made with animoto.com Animoto easily produces a professional looking video from music, photos, and video clips, and it can be accessed on any device. The free version of Animoto only allows for 30 second videos, but students can create longer videos through one of 50 educator accounts an individual teacher can set up and own for 180 days at a time (for more information, click here). This quick tutorial from Kelly Clifford shows how to use Animoto.
My students had so much fun completing this project! It integrated our technology and allowed us to do things we could only have imagined without access to our Chromebooks this year! Here are a couple of commercials my students created for you to enjoy!
How could you use technology to make the impossible possible for your students? Could Soundtrap or Animoto make your ideas come to life?