Thursday, 14 March 2019

Radio Sampler and Improv Bingo

Here are a few of the things that we did... This Week In Gifted!

Radio Sampler

Students listened to a short sample of the different audio segments that have been produced so
far this year.  The quality of the work is great and the students enjoyed hearing what others have been creating!  It seems to have spurred students on to want to complete segments they have in production and to start new segments.

Improv Bingo

The Students in the Wednesday morning class played Improv Bingo.  It is a fun drama game where students have to quickly come up with a short skit that they act out.  In this case the students had to include (link):

There was a lot of discussion about why you would have a blizzard in the Sahara, but eventually folks accepted that it had to be part of the skit.  Before getting into their groups to brainstorm ideas we talked about how to work positively with your group members, ensuring that everyone was able to contribute and participate fairly.  When it was time to get to work, the students were amazing!  They generated ideas and everyone looked like they were happy with how their group was working.  This is pretty incredible.  When I've done this activity with other groups there are always times I have to step in to help mediate conflicts or deal with tears.  Not with this class!

The skits were hilarious!  One skit involved a giant lollipop god who was generating the blizzard (which was actually a DQ Blizzard), another involved creative use of furniture to depict a character struggling with a beefy 5 foot tall butterfly.  There were creative uses of lollipops, amazing acting, excellent use of narrators, and so much humor!  At the end of each skit the audience members were asked to give appreciations and to comment on what the group did well.  This helps all of us understand what elements people enjoy and what makes a great skit.

The Wednesday afternoon class did a modified version of Improv Bingo.  Instead of doing skits, students worked alone to come up with stories which they told aloud.  Again, there were creative and humorous stories!

The Tuesday afternoon class had another go at My Favourite Thing, the storytelling activity described in last week's post.  The creativity from this group is wonderful!  One of our students from this class is moving away at Spring Break so we wished her well with some donuts -- but everyone had to tell a creative story about why donuts were their favourite thing in order get in on the food!

More Project Time

All of the classes had lots of time again this week to work on their audio projects -- either writing scripts, voicing them, or editing the audio.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Music and My Favourite Thing

Stingers, Bumpers and Music

This week we discussed the function that music plays in radio and video.  Music helps set the mood, and often in radio there are short clips of music that listeners identify with the show and that are used to help separate different segments of a radio program, these are called stingers.  If you listen to CBC radio's Daybreak South in the morning you are probably familiar with the music they use in their stinger for the start of each segment after the news breaks (it's upbeat and groovy).  The CBC radio show Q uses the intro music from the BROS' song Tell Me

Radio shows also use bumpers.  A bumper is a short segment of audio that is prerecorded and usually consists of a voice over music, for instance a bumper for our radio show might say "you are listening to the Creation Station on Peach City Radio!"  Bumpers serve as transitions from one audio segment to another.

Where to find music to use with an audio segment though?  This week we looked at a music site called Incompetech.  This site has royalty free music and graph paper -- an intriguing combination!  (I have to admit to using the site for both of these items.)  Royalty free music is music that is free, or that you have to only pay for once, that you can use in different projects for as long as you like.  If you've ever tried to add a favourite track of music to a video that you are uploading to YouTube you may have had the unpleasant experience of having your music blocked.  This is probably because you do not have permission from the song's distributor to use the track.  Royalty free music can be used without this problem.  Incompetech's site is really handy because you can search for music based on how it feels (ie the mood it conveys).  Maybe you need a piece of music that is bouncy and humorous sounding, or perhaps you are looking for something eerie and dark.

My Favourite Thing

Students exercised their creative and divergent thinking muscles this week by playing 'My Favourite Thing'.  In this storytelling activity students are shown an ordinary object and they have to explain (in 2 or 3 sentences) why it is their favourite thing.  The Wednesday classes told some great tales about a frying pan, sponge, fake flower, and other items.  The Tuesday class came up with riveting yarns about a tissue box, a small plastic hand, and part of a marble works track.

Project Time

Students continued to work on their radio projects.  All of the classes got quite a bit of recording done.  The Wednesday morning class tackled another fractured fairy tale, this time written by Char G.  The tale involved 10 voice actors and the students did a great job working together to get the recording done!   

Check out the photos below of the students at work (and at play!)

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Logo Design

Here are a few of the things that we did... This Week In Gifted!


Now that we have a name for our Radio Show, The Creation Station, it's time to come up with a logo.  We did a concept attainment lesson on what makes a good logo.  Students were shown the slides below (link).  We looked at logos that had been divided into 2 groups; the 'Yes' group and the 'No' group.  The students had to decide why the logos were placed into each group.  In the end we discovered that 'Yes' group represented logos that followed good design principles (simple, few colours, images that related to the product) and the other group did not.  Student then worked on their own logos.

More Radio Work

Students continued to work on their radio segments.  We are building up some great content!  We will begin airing episodes once we have generated enough material.  Stay tuned!

Encrypted Welcome

The Summerland group welcomed a new student to the class.  I had received information that this student had some pretty good 'spy' skills, so an enciphered welcome message was in order!  Once the students deciphered the message, one of the veteran students added an additional line to the message for our newcomer -- nice move!  (link to slides)