Lego Movie Making Fun

moviemakerlogoWhat do you do on Thanksgiving after the pies are eaten and the dishes done? If you are surrounded by adventurous children and have a new (free) app to explore, you make movies!

Lego Movie Maker isn’t really a new app, but it was new to me, as was my small collection of tiny LEGO characters, souvenir of a recent conference. It really is as easy as this.

We didn’t have the good sense to secure our camera (and were using an ipad on my lap!) but in 5 minutes, without directions, a young friend and I made our first movie–a wizard transforming into a cat.

OK, so this is not exactly fine art, but it demonstrates that the app can be managed with no prior knowledge, and even no instructions. Of course, if we’d watched the video above first, our camera work would have been much more stable, but then we wouldn’t have had to solve the problem on our own, so perhaps it is just as well.

Lego Movie Maker can be great family fun, but also could provide teams of children in classrooms with a new way to think about sequencing, story line, editing, and planning. Learning to create a storyboard is an essential skill for video production, but also can be used to plan narrative writing (especially for students with strong visual orientation). You can even download templates to help you.  And when we are working toward Common Core (or other) standards asking students to analyze information presented in various forms, the opportunity to actually present information in various forms can be powerful. Think about how Lego Movie Maker (with or without actual Legos) could be used to share principles in science or math. Who knows, perhaps your students can create teaching materials for you to use next year–or a story as elaborated as those available with a simple YouTube search. Want to be inspired? Perhaps your movie will look less like “Wizard or Cat” and more like the one below. Our next venture will surely be moving in that direction!

If you’ve found ways to use movie making in the classroom, we’d love to hear about them.




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