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October 4, 2013 Go Green (Screen) in October By Christy Crawford
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Even in the early days of October, many kids are consumed with what they’ll be wearing to a harvest festival, to trick-or-treat, or for a costume parade. Use that October excitement and a special effect called chroma key to create incredibly engaging lessons. All you need is one smart phone or an iPad, a cheap chroma key app ($2.99), and green butcher paper. If you can spare the cash, purchase a $20 green screen from Amazon. (Over zealous student actors quickly nick or tear butcher paper.)
    Chroma key is a popular post-production technique in which an editor replaces or overlays a green or blue background with another frame like a weather map, a beach background, or perhaps a scene from a treasured book. With the new chroma key apps on the market, the process is so easy that a second grader can independently create Hollywood movie magic cheaply and in minutes. Take a look at the chroma key adventures of two second graders, Karla and Leo, in this three-minute tutorial video. Mobile users, please go to:

    Use chroma key to kick start writing notebook entries, bring book reviews or geography lessons to life, or jump into science. Karla's class is using the chroma key backdrop to investigate the path of a water droplet from the reservoir to our school sinks. Leo's class will use chroma key to investigate germ prevention and the path of a microbe as it travels through the human body.

    Help harness your students' October energy and get inspired with dozens of great green screen movies from Scholastic Bloggers, Angela Bunyi, Beth Newingham, and Megan Power.
    How are you using chroma key in October or during the rest of the year? We'd love to hear your ideas for engaging lessons and see your movies!


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