Once the students finished writing their poems, they were ready for the next step of the project, which was to record themselves reciting their poetry.

In preparation for this we looked at the power of our voices and the fact that we have the ability to control how fast or slow we say each line and how this can not only make the listening more enjoyable, but can also create a rhythm within the poem itself. We looked at where the breaks might be, where they could pause and where they could catch their breath. We invited the students to look at each of the words in each of the lines and to consider which words they really wanted the listener to enjoy.

After preparing their scripts with these notes, students worked with me one at a time to record their audio directly into iMovie. We used a good quality external USB microphone which was connected directly to an iPad.

It often took a few or sometimes many attempts for students to be happy with their readings but in the end, everyone had an opportunity to work on their recitations and to think about how they wanted it to sound.

It was quite wonderful to see the evolution of their delivery go from something rushed and all strung together to a slow, thoughtful reading with time to absorb the key words and phrases. I asked one of the students if they could see how they could adapt what they were learning about speaking into other areas of their life and she told me that she would be reading at the Remembrance Day ceremony the following week and could see how she could decide ahead of time where she would pause and what words she wanted to be clearly heard.

Success, I thought! There’s that connection we talk about between film production and the development of oral presentation skills that can be used outside of filmmaking. Our voices have power and I believe this group of students were able to catch a glimpse of that and authentically experience it through this part of the process, deciding not only what they would say, but how it would be said and how it would be heard.

Nikos Theodosakis

Author Nikos Theodosakis

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