If you’re looking for a fun, engaging, and new get to know you/back to school idea, try using Animoto!

For the last two years, I’ve tasked my kiddos with creating an All About Me video using Animoto.  It’s a little more fun than creating a poster or putting objects to share in a bag or any of the other activities I’ve done in the past.  Bonus: they get to use technology!  They love it!  I love it!

Here are the details…  If you aren’t familiar with this resource yet, Animoto is a free website/app that also has some paid features.  (I’ve never paid for any, however.  I’m cheap like that.)  Some of my kiddos spring for the extras, but I make it very clear that they DO NOT have to and encourage them to stick with the free version.  Simply, you choose a video template, upload some photos, and it creates a stunning video!

Here’s what you do…
Step #1: Create an account.  (Totally free!)
Step #2: Choose your video style (music, graphics, background, tone/feel).
Step #3: Upload your photos, videos, or use their stock images.  You can also add text and captions.
Step #4: Preview your video.
Step #5: Make any changes  you want to make or produce your video.
Step #6: Share your video!  You can email it, create a link to it, or post it to any major (or not so major) social media site…Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, various blogging sites, some choices I’d never heard of.
*The steps for using the app are very similar, but just a little bit different.  It’s still super easy, though.

If you’d like to see some examples…  I created this one while writing this post using their stock images.  (It took five-ish minutes.)  This is my All About Me video for this year.  My son created this one for a social studies project on George Washington.

How do I use this, specifically?  Well…  First, I model how to create a video using the online version as well as the app on my iPad.  Then, I assign this as their “homework” for the first week of school.  As they finish their video, their parents share it with me through email.  Some kids jump right on it and do theirs the first night and others take their time and turn it in on the last day.  That’s cool.  It’s all about choice, folks.  Anyways, once the videos start coming in, I post them to our class website.  I have a page on our site dedicated solely to their videos with each student’s name listed.  I simply link their video to their name.  This way the kiddos can watch their own or their classmates’ videos any time they’d like.  Parents and families can also take a peek and get to know all of the members of our classroom family.  We spend a little bit of time each day viewing the videos that have come in the previous day or night.  Unless they’ve purchased extra features, the videos are only 30 seconds long, so it doesn’t take much time at all.

The kids LOVE it.  They love being the star of their very own show and they love seeing how the other kids have created their videos.  It’s our favorite part of each day during that first week of school, and it’s my favorite back to school/All About Me/get to know you activity…hands down!

P.S…  Another idea for using Animoto:  The team that puts together my school’s weekly news broadcast uses it to showcase our schoolwide word of the week.  They find an image of each letter and reveal the entire word letter by letter until finally showing the entire word.  There are so many styles and music options to choose from that they almost never repeat a theme.  Every word is fresh.

If you haven’t played with this resource before, give it a whirl!  You’re going to love it!

*I haven’t been paid by anyone for anything in this post/on this blog.  If you’d like to pay me for something, let me know.  I’m all ears.*


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