Improv E-Poem

In-Class Activity: Improv Response with Camtasia

Working in groups of two or three (try to work with people who are using the same OS as you will use for your e-poem), and using the poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow," as a starting point, create a short video adaptation/response. Work through these steps:

First, try to quickly identify some sense of the approach you will take. You might add materials that help bring out some of the poem's meanings to create a reading; you might refer to some of the criticism we have read to add materials that place the poem in the context of studying literature; you might add materials to simply recast the poem using multimedia; or you can take any other approach. The main goal is simply to construct a short response.

Next, take stock of this list of screen strategies so that you can work an example of each into the response:

  • Working with text—either callouts or recorded typing
  • Using the screen recorder to capture some activity on the screen
  • Importing one or more images into the project
  • Using "state changes" to animate or vary the size, placement, opacity, etc. of materials
  • Using audio—either background music, sound effect, or voice

Next, accounting for each of the strategies above, in a very rough way, sketch out ideas for how you will construct the response. Will you use the text of the poem? Will you have narration? Might you move through each word of the poem or display the whole text on screen. How can Camtasia functionality help drive the composition—can you zoom in and out, fade materials on screen, create motion, blend materials using opacity settings? What might you capture with the screen recorder? What sounds might you use? Explore these and other questions to create sketchy storyboard for what you will try to accomplish.

Next, choose one person whose laptop you will use and get started. Make sure that you pay attention to the canvas size—720p/YouTube. Save frequently as you develop your response.

Next, when your response is drafted, export it as an mp4 file on the laptop.

Next, using the laptop, go to YouTube and login. (If you have a google account, you can use that or you may need to create an account.) Upload the mp4 file to YouTube, and then copy the URL of the uploaded file.

Finally, on our Web site select the Add Content link, and the Improv E-Poem. In the URL field, paste in the address of your e-poem. In the body field, list the members of your group. Save the posting.

When you are finished if time permits, you can work on your own e-poem.

Due date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Assignment Description: 
Students work in groups to create an e-poem during a class period. The improv assignment gives students a short poem--"The Red Wheelbarrow"--then asks them to create an e-poem that incorporates some of the major moves that might be used in composing a screen video: working with text, incorporating sound, adding animations, etc.