Tag Archives: project

Interview an Elf

It’s that most wonderful time of the year. Here at my school it means it’s time to bring out my annual holiday project – Interview an Elf. This is a simple activity that brings lots of laughter and joy to elementary kids.  It’s also easy, and can be completed in less than 30 minutes of computer lab time.  Here’s the recipe for this “holiday classic”.

Ingredients:

It’s the week before Christmas and you will be interviewing an elf at Santa’s workshop. You will be the voice for both parts. Record yourself interviewing yourself. Play it back to hear the interview. As you listen, watch the timeline and make note where the elf is speaking.
Highlight the parts where the elf is speaking. Go to EFFECT and select CHANGE PITCH.
Raise the pitch of the elf part. How much you raise it depends on the natural pitch of your voice. Typically you only need to raise it 20-30%.  Listen to the result. If it works, repeat for the rest of the elf parts.


Additional Sweetness:
If you want, you can add sound effects to “sweeten” your interview. I found workshop sounds, sleigh bells, and Santa’s “Ho, Ho, Ho” at Findsounds.com.


Be prepared for lots of laughter in the lab when you try this activity. Kids have a blast creating their interviews. I always allow them some play time to experiment listening to their voice at different pitches – you’ll want some play time too!


For more help using Audacity, check out my wiki with helpful videos explaining how to edit audio and add effects.

It’s All About the Network

Have you seen those Verizon commercials that have hundreds of support people standing behind their wireless phone user? The idea is to let you know that you’re not alone, that you’ve got people behind you to keep you connected. Their slogan – It’s all about the network. That’s how I felt about MY network this week.

On Tuesday morning I worked with one of our third grade classes. They had just read the book “George Washington’s Breakfast” by Jean Fritz. Our idea was to create a little form, asking the world what they ate for breakfast. I opened up a new form in Google Docs and had the kids help write the survey description and questions. Then I posted a link to the form on Twitter and Plurk asking you to show them the power of our network.

The results were practically instantaneous. Within 15 minutes we had a dozen responses. By that evening there were over a hundred. When I checked the next morning there were almost 400! Most were from the US, but we also had responses from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Scotland, Italy, China, Singapore, Korea, and Brazil!

I thought it would be fun to add the responses to a Google Map, so I started copying and pasting what people ate into placemarks. I had to stop after the first 200. I just couldn’t keep up with the responses.


View Breakfast Around the World in a larger map

We’re still working on what we’re going to do with all the data, but if you’d like to share our project with your students, here is a link to our spreadsheet. (As I write this, we’re up to 469 responses.)

I’d like to thank all those who contributed to the survey and passed it on to others. The kids had a blast watching the results come in. We were all amazed by the huge response. Our network ROCKS!