Tips and Tricks
Are you looking for some ideas to get your class started on their entry? Check out the tips and tricks below!
Choosing a topic
With over 200 national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, there are many ways to incorporate this into your curriculum! Click on the links below to discover all of the eligible Parks Canada places that you can choose from:
Do you teach...
Science or geography?
Consider exploring a park that is home to a species at risk, special ecosystem or unique geographical feature.
Social studies or history?
You could explore Canadian history through events or historical figures connected to national historic sites.
Consider using scripting and presenting aspects of a video as a way to engage your students in one of Canada’s official languages.
Explore the musical tradition presented in a national park or at a national historic site, or create a music video on a topic of interest to your class.
Drama or film-making?
Have your class write a script and act out a short play about a subject of their choice.
Incorporate visual arts into the video; videos do not have to be just actors and dialogue!
To find a Parks Canada place near you, and to learn more about its natural, cultural or historical heritage, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca. With places from coast to coast to coast, you will have no trouble finding something extraordinary! Remember you do not need to visit a Parks Canada place to tell Canadians about the natural or cultural significance of that place.
Creating a video
The thought of making a video can be a bit overwhelming at first, but these helpful tips and tricks can make the process much easier.
Choose the right equipment.
A Smartphone may be the most convenient recording device in some situations, but without a tripod, your video can end up shaky and blurry. Ask around to see if you can borrow a camera that can connect to a tripod. Also, the audio recorders on most cameras and Smartphones tend to pick up background noise. If possible, attach a sound recording device, like a microphone, to the camera, or record some sound separate from the video and edit it in later.
Visit vimeo.com/videoschool (English) and www.commentcamarche.net/faq/7619-comment-faire-un-clip-video (French) for some great tutorials.
Get the whole class involved.
Try to assign roles that will appeal to individual students. Some students are naturals in front of the camera, some love to direct, some are great with video editing software, while others like to write or create props.
Consider all of your options.
There are endless ways to create or use footage for your video. Does your school have a perfect place to re-create a scene from history? Maybe your classroom is near a forest that you could pretend is your chosen park. Don’t forget that there are other ways to create content too. Is your class interested in drawing or claymation? You might also have access to pre-recorded footage or stills that would work perfectly in your class’ creation. If you do use photos or video from Parks Canada or another source that is not your own, please ensure that you get permission to use that work.
It’s all in the editing.
Don’t be discouraged if your raw footage is a little…raw. With video editing software, like iMovie (usually free on Apple computers), Windows Movie Maker (usually free on PCs) and other programs (Youtube, Pinnacle Spin, Animoto, VideoPad Video Editor), you can slice and dice scenes to make a masterpiece. Search the web for helpful video editing tutorials like the ones found here: vimeo.com/videoschool/101 (this website is only available in English).
Add music to your creation.
Music can be a great addition to your video, but please make sure it is rights-free or you have obtained permission to use the piece. Here is a list of some helpful music websites:
www.royaltyfreemusic.com (English website)
incompetech.com/m/c/royalty‐free (English website)
www.freeplaymusic.com (English website)
dig.ccmixter.org (English website)
findsounds.com (English website)
creativecommons.org/legalmusicforvideos (English website)
www.musicscreen.be (French website)
www.jerome-chauvel.com (French website)
Promoting Your video
Now that you have created a great video, you will need to promote it to get those votes! Regardless of your community’s size, there are many ways to promote your video far and wide. Here are some ideas that previous classes have tried:
Design some simple advertisements and hand them out at school or in your community.
Contact the media.
Contact your local media and invite them to report on your project. You can use the press release attached here and email the editor or producer at your local newspaper, TV station or radio station.
Contact local businesses.
Approach community businesses to help you promote your video through advertisements, online efforts or simply by informing their employees and customers.
Organize a family night.
Invite students’ families to the school for a screening of your video. Use this opportunity to encourage everyone to vote!
Use social media.
Create a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page that you and your students can share the community. Social media is a great way to encourage and remind your supporters to vote! Make sure that you act the same way on social media as you would in person. Respectful and encouraging posts are the best ways to raise the profile of your program.
Remember promoting your video and engaging your community can start before the video is completed. Use social media to engage your community with your progress and ask followers to promote for your class project. To help you promote the contest on social media, the My Parks Pass program is very active on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to share messages from the following pages on your class project’s page:
If you have any questions, please use the Contact form found here.