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Learning Experience/Unit

Welcome to Middle School by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES


Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


A rubric will be used to assess the student's ability to use questions and video to create an accurate picture of the Middle School experience. **Note: As a school counselor, I would rarely formally assess student work in my setting, but perhaps this may be useful when writing progress notes for teachers, families and/or CSE.

Learning Context/ Introduction

This is a cooperative learning experience for four 6th Grade students. The final product was used with 4th grade students as a primer for entering our Middle School. It will also be used in the Fall as a 'welcome back' piece during the first Middle School Assembly. Students will need to be enrolled in a Middle School setting, have experience speaking with adults, and be interested in working with video clips on the computer.


The overall project took us about 25 weeks meeting once a week for 30 minutes at a time, but for an educator with regular access to the students it would not take that long. We include in this time the tasks of creating questions and a storyboard, filming our adults, downloading and editing, final tweaks and burning to DVD, and showing 4 classes of 4th graders.

Essential Question

What do I need to know to be successful in Middle School?


This group will meet once a week for 30 minutes at a time. Participation is designated by the counselor and two of the students were assigned counseling as part of their IEP. Students will first create the questions using pencil and paper in a group setting. We will use a digital video camera to film each interviewee as the student reads the question. Our students decided a puppet (Middle School Mutt) holding a microphone would serve as the interviewer. Using the programs IMOVIE and IDVD, the individual shots are edited together into one video piece. The DVD was used at the end of the school year as a way to help the fourth graders prepare for Middle School. A study guide was created for the students to record information on as they watched the video. The DVD will be shown in the Fall to the entire Middle School as a way to orientate them to a new school year. The entire DVD is 11 minutes long. The DVD is not offered here to protect the students' and teachers' identities. The use of this visual art format supports student progress toward attaining mastery of Learning Standard ARTS1.I.VA1B.

  • Study Guide.doc
  • Movie Transcript.doc
  • Reflections and Feedback

    This was an extremely fun and worthwhile project to do with students who have worked with me for 6 years. The students had a variety of interests and talents which we were able to channel into an effective cooperative experience. One of the students has Asperger's syndrome and took to the computer programs with ease. One of the students has significant ADD-H and served as our creative genius. The other two students demonstrated skills in the dramatic arts and communicated well with our school officials. I am proud that the students were able to create a piece that has value for our school as a whole. As an elementary counselor, I am working to make the Learning Standards relevant and immediate in my environment and I learned I can expect more elaborate products from groups in my setting.

    Student Work

    Students will create questions to pose to adults working in the Middle School. The students will write and speak an introduction/conclusion to the video, write and ask questions for the Principal/Teachers, download the video to the computer, edit and format the video, and burn it to DVD.

    Related Resource

    Too Old for This, Too Young for That! Your Survival Guide for the Middle-School Years.
    written by Harriet S. Mosatche, Ph.D., andĀ Karen UngerĀ 

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