Ethos, Logos and Pathos in 5th Grade: Using Animoto for Project-Based Learning

Still unsure how to incorporate technology seamlessly into everyday learning for students?  Stop by Ms. Bryant’s fifth grade class at Kimberly Elementary for a quick idea.  After Ms. Bryant and her class read the novel, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit, the students integrated a persuasive writing activity into one of the culminating activities for the story.

In the story a family discovers magical spring water that allows people to live forever.  The students in Ms. Bryant’s class were given the task of creating a commercial for the spring water.  Not only were they tasked with creating a commercial for the spring water, but they had to incorporate literary elements into their commercial as well. 

The students included the Aristotelian appeals of ethos, logos and pathos, celebrity endorsements, and subtle messages of persuasion into their individual commercials.  Each student selected his or her own method of advertising and used Animoto to create an advertisement.  Animoto is a free web-based video creator which uses still pictures and video clips to create professional quality videos.

As the students presented their commercials, their audience, which consisted of their classmates and a few third grade students, ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as they recognized the elements and creative techniques each student used. 

“It was great using Animoto,” says Jaxson, a 5th grade student in Ms. Bryant’s class.   “It was much easier because we didn’t have to search the web for pictures unless we absolutely wanted to.  I liked the music choices that were available.  All you had to do was make your selection and put everything in the right order and it was done.  I would recommend that other teachers use this for their students.  I really liked creating my own commercial.”

Jaxson’s mother shared similar sentiments.

“Jaxson was excited to share his commercial with me,” she explained. “He was so proud of his own creation.  I am really glad that Ms. Bryant provided the students with this opportunity to be creative using technology.  I could tell that he understood persuasion and that there is a specific technique used in advertising.”

Tynia, a student in Ms. Bryant’s class said, “This persuasive commercial made me feel updated.”  “[Other students] should do this because they will become enligntened of another resource instead of a regular PowerPoint.” 

Alaia commented, “Its not everyday that you get to create your own thirty second commercial! ” “Being able to do this was exciting.  I think classes should be able to incorporate the use of technology.  Why should you waste all that new technology that is being created?”

The student comments were captured in a blog set up by Ms. Bryant using Kidblog.com.  Kudos to Ms. Bryant for encouraging her students to be creative and express themselves by incorporating something very natural to them – technology.

Ms. Bryant states, “It’s always the best when you are able to set an expectation for your students and watch them take on the challenge and rise to the occasion.”  “A lot of the students not only met my expectation, but some blew me away with their creativity.  I modeled using the technology once and they took it from there.  This project solidifies my belief that you need to give kids that room to explore and be creative.  Provide that support, but let them go, and I guarantee you they will surprise you.”

-Written by Jennifer Saunders, Teacher, Kimberly Elementary School

3 thoughts on “Ethos, Logos and Pathos in 5th Grade: Using Animoto for Project-Based Learning

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  1. Amazing! You guys have definitely persuaded me to taste that magical spring water! Kudos to Ms. Bryant and the oustanding work she is doing with her 5th graders! Technology is changing the way we live, work, and learn and I am so happy to see teachers implementing it within their traditional instruction.

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