How We Do It

While students are working together to organise, create, and launch their own short film, they are developing an understanding of film making and screen media, as well as gaining self confidence and improving their ability to work well with others.

During the production, students are being given clear and positive feedback to encourage and extend their creative skills, their sense of inquiry, and their knowledge and critical appreciation of film media.

Unit Of Work

Community Engagement Project

Stage 3 Film Making Unit “Collecting Smiles”

Foundation Statement

At the end of this film making unit students will be able to engage with members of the community with more confidence and have appropriate conversations. Students will gain knowledge and understandings surrounding film creation and actively be involved in the creation, and presentation of a film titled “Collecting Smiles”. Students will engage with a wide variety of complex texts relating to film studies and learn how to write for a specific purpose and audience integrating humour, tone, expression and dramatic language. Students will develop comprehensive skills in using technology and use these skills to begin to edit their own footage.

This unit provides students with the opportunity to engage in video drama within a dramatic context, manipulating role, situations and the drama elements of tension, focus and symbol to make meaning. The use of video in this unit promotes different ways of framing the drama. Students will extend their talking and listening skills and increase their vocabulary.

Students will feel a strong sense of achievement through the viewing of the final product on screen and at a special assembly.


Outcomes and Indicators

Values Education

Refers to a sense of their own worth and dignity.
V2 Respects the right of others to have different values and attitudes to their own.
V3 Enjoys a sense of belonging.

Enjoys creating a range of spoken and written texts
V2 Experiments with different aspects of spoken and written language
V4 Shows confidence in using language in a variety of contexts
V7 Uses language to support and encourage others
V2 Respects the right of others to hold different values and attitudes from their own.


Personal Development
Describes roles and responsibilities in developing and maintaining positive relationships.
INS3.3 Acts in ways that enhance the contribution of self and others in a range of cooperative situations.
COS3.1 Communicates confidently in a variety of situations.
DMS3.2 Makes informed decisions and accepts responsibility for consequences.

Talking and Listening Communicates effectively for a range of purposes and with a variety of audiences to express well-developed, well organised ideas dealing with more challenging topics.
TS3.2 Skills and Strategies
Develop interview questions, uses a hierarchical approach to lead to analysis and synthesis on behalf of the interviewer and the interviewee.

Interacts productively and with autonomy in pairs and groups of various sizes and composition, uses effective oral presentation skills and strategies and listens attentively.


  • Discusses ways in which spoken language differs from written language and how spoken language varies according to different contexts.
  • Listens to and notes key ideas and information from discussions involving more than one point of view.
  • Listens and responds constructively to alternative ideas, different points of view and expresses own ideas and opinions.
  • Recognizes when an opinion is being offered as opposed to fact and can signal a personal opinion.
  • Identifies the main ideas and supporting details of a spoken discussion and summarizes it for others.

RS3.5 Reads independently an extensive range of texts with increasing content demands and responds to themes and issues.
RS3.6 Uses a comprehensive range of skills and strategies appropriate to the type of text being read.
RS3.7 Critically analyses techniques used by writers to create certain effects, to use language creatively, to position the reader.
In various ways and to construct different interpretations of experience.
RS3.8 Identifies the text structure of a wider range of more complex text types and discusses how the characteristic

Uses twenty-four hour time and am and pm notation in real-life situations and constructs timelines

Working Mathematically Outcome/s

Asks questions that could be explored using mathematics in relation to Stage 3 content

Applying Strategies
Selects and uses appropriate mental or written strategies, or technology to solve a given problem

Uses some mathematical terminology to describe or represent mathematical ideas

Checks the accuracy of a statement and explains the reasoning used

Links mathematical ideas and makes connections with existing knowledge and understanding in relation to Stage 3 content.

Use a number of strategies to solve unfamiliar problems, including:

  • trial and error
  • drawing a diagram
  • working backwards
  • looking for patterns
  • simplifying the problem

Using a table

  • determining the duration of events using starting and finishing times to calculate elapsed time
  • using a stopwatch to measure and compare the duration of events
  • reading, interpreting and using timetables from real-life situations, including those involving 24-hour time
  • determining a suitable scale and drawing a timeline using the scale
  • interpreting a given timeline using the scale

SGS3.3 Uses a variety of mapping skills.

Creative Arts
Develops a range of in-depth and sustained roles.

  • Takes on a range of roles challenging character stereotypes, depicting empathy, different and contrasting attitudes and status.
  • Collaborates to convey dramatic meaning by responding abstractly to represent ideas, feelings, objects and situations.

DRAS3.2 Interprets and conveys dramatic meaning by using the elements of drama and a range of movement and voice skills in a variety of drama forms.

  • Responds confidently with gesture, movement and voice skills to a range of scripts and other texts to structure the narrative or episodes and build on the action of the drama.
  • Interprets a dramatic context through the use of a combination of various drama forms.
  • Combines and manages the elements of drama, for example: tension, contrast, symbol, time, space, focus and mood to communicate the depth of meaning of their drama work.

DRAS3.3 Devises acts and rehearses drama for performance to an audience.

  • Devises drama in collaboration with others using scripted and unscripted material as resources for drama performances.
  • Devises, rehearses and acts in drama using voice and movement skills to convey meaning to an audience.

DRAS3.4 Responds critically to a range of drama works and performance styles.

  • Forms and communicates opinions about a range of drama works created by themselves and others.
  • Evaluates drama performances in order to reflect upon and enhance their own drama work and the work of others.

Science and Technology
UT S3.9
Evaluates, selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to meet the requirements and constraints of investigatingand designing tasks.
DM S3.8 Develops and resolves a design task by planning, implementing, managing and evaluating design processes.
INV S3.7 Conducts their own investigations and makes judgments based on the results of observing, questioning, planning, predicting, testing, collecting, recording and analysing data, and drawing conclusions.

Significant events and people.
Explains the significance of particular people, places, groups, actions and events in the past in developing Australian identities and heritage.
ENS3.6 Investigate a range of features in the local environment.
CCS3.1 Develops a sound understanding of local area history.
SSS3.7 Identifies how services are provided in the local communities.

Student Assessment

  • Teacher observation of student behaviour:
    • in the playground
    • during group work
    • during classroom activities.
  • Teacher observation of student responses during class discussion.
  • Anecdotal records or reports on student behaviour.
  • Student profile card for keeping a record of comments or anecdotal remarks regarding students’ behaviours.
  • Observing class for overall behaviour change
  • Community Feedback at presentation of films.
  • Formative assessment records
  • Could students complete the short film in week 9 with minimal instruction?

Students ongoing journal and reflections.

Program Evaluation

  • Did the students enjoy the activities?
  • Were all students given the opportunity to share their feelings?
  • Did the students contribute in paired and group situations?
  • Was the selection of student literature appropriate?
  • Were the students able to share their class work with their families?
  • Is there an improved atmosphere of trust and support in the classroom?
  • Was sufficient time given for students to discuss the results of particular activities?


  • Video camera, video tape, television, VCR
  • Costume box
  • A tripod if possible
  • Editing facilities if available
  • Appropriate cable to connect camera to TV.

Venue for film presentation, busy community hotspots, internet.

Learning Experiences

Week 1

Students sit in a circle and introduce themselves verbally with the camera on the stand placed in the middle of the circle.

Explain to students that they are going to be part of a film called “Collecting Smiles” and during the term they will learn all there is about film making and more importantly they will learn important things about their own sense of self (confidence, self-esteem).

Have each student make an individual ‘feelings diary’ using a workbook which will also be their film journal. At the conclusion of each day students record in their journals the feelings they have experienced during the day. Also known as WILT (What I’ve Learnt Today).

Have each student sit on a chair in front of a camera, before it is switched on. Instruct the students that, as ‘the presenter’ they have thirty seconds to introduce themselves on camera as a ‘talking head’.

  • Have students in small groups rehearse their improvised introductions.
  • Have students introduce themselves in front of the camera.
  • Have students as viewers observe the convincing nature of the introduction by each ‘talking head’.
  • Have viewers discuss their response to the effectiveness in communicating the message.
  • Complete WILT.

Week 2

  • Watch improvised responses that students completed week 1 on the smart board.
  • Discuss the concept of “Collecting Smiles” and look at VIMEO footage of Taree Public School Students finished product.
  • Explain to students that they will do the same thing.
  • Brainstorm a list of ideas regarding where they can do the shoot, who, what can be given to the community, what communication will take place, what they want to achieve at the end of it.
  • Students write up the class findings and ideas and have votes on which ideas are best.
  • Students split into 4 groups – create a short skit based on how they might present someone with a gift that they don’t know. Discuss how they might feel at that time.
  • Discuss what good communication looks like and bad communication. Role play or skit both types in groups (e.g. good communication is friendly and at an acceptable volume, bad communication is nervous, loud and yelling).
  • Students are to evaluate how they think they communicate to people. Write it in their journals. What can they improve on?
  • Look at locally made film “Head First”. Deconstruct film. Discuss.
  • Technology – go through the equipment with students and explain each item. Students are to annotate and write notes about what parts do what and how they will use it.

Week 3

  • Students are to create an artwork that represents flowers. This is going to be used for rehearsing the Collecting Smiles shoot.
  • Students are to sit in a circle and be allocated roles and responsibilities for the project. Film Crews, sound, lighting, setting, signs and posters, meet and greet, flower givers, thank yous, release form signatures.
  • Explain to students the expectations of behavior in public places.
  • Explain that students are going to attempt completing the Collecting Smiles shoot at two different venues. They are going to be busy, public places.
  • Select or discuss with students the venues selected.
  • Split students into 4 groups – 1. camera, 2. sound, 3. lighting, 4. talking/communicating in front of the camera.
  • Students spend 20min in each group then change.
  • Show ball throwing VIMEO – Taree Public School.
  • Students attempt to shoot a small ball throwing film to get students using knowledge and skills that they have been exposed to.
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 4

  • Discussing rehearsals with students. Explain they need to be ready and prepared.
  • Students create Collecting Smiles banners and posters to decorate filming space at the venue.
  • Explain to students that they will be shooting the films weeks 7 and weeks 8 (expectations set).
  • Students are placed into appropriate groups made up of their roles. Film students pretending to give out flowers with art works. Allow them to experiment. This allows students to learn how to use the camera, sound, ask questions and be exposed to answering questions promptly. Role play.
  • Play back recordings to discuss positives and things to work on.
  • Watch first film – “Ball Throwing”.
  • Deconstruct film talking about visuals, lighting, music, technology.
  • Students stand in a circle and complete Hoop activity – team building.
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 5

  • Students sit at desks.
  • Brainstorm what they think media is.
  • Explain they will reach media with Collecting Smiles (Newspapers, News articles and bulletins).
  • Expose to students different examples of media releases.
  • Students are to write a media release for Collecting Smiles that will be sent to real life media companies. Discuss persuasive words, audience, purpose and language.
  • Students attempt to write a media release.
  • Students read out their attempts. Students select one to be sent off.
  • Students first attempt at giving people flowers – visit a different class within school and deliver artworks as a gift. Students record reactions.
  • Discuss rehearsal for Collecting Smiles – venue, expectations.
  • Students then gather artworks to use for the following week.
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 6

  • Students walk or visit the “Collecting Smiles” venue 1 for a practice run with artworks capturing the community’s reactions on film and communicating effectively and positively.
  • Students ensure that “Collecting Smiles” banners and posters are completed.
  • Watch short film “Animal Instincts” and deconstruct. Why was it engaging? What did students like about it? Was it funny? How? Who is the audience? What might be the purpose of the film?
  • Talk about animations, metaphors, similes, personifications.
  • Students write a day plan for weeks 7 and weeks 8 for the “Collecting Smiles” film shooting days.
  • Students are instructed to include when, timelines, students’ roles and responsibilities, general organization, transport, costs if any, community venue descriptions.
  • Bring key community members in that are supporting “Collecting Smiles” for a talk with students – discuss expectations, positive role models, how the project is viewed in the community, what students will be achieving and how students will feel post.
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 7

  • Students’ prepare for “Collecting Smiles” shoot 1.
  • Students gather and collect resources needed for the shoot (camera, sound, lighting equipment, banners, posters).
  • Students prepare for travelling to venue.
  • Students set up venue with banners and posters and students start completing their specific roles allocated to them.
  • Once the set is ready cameras start filming and students begin giving out flowers/gifts to random community members capturing it on film.
  • Students wrap it up and pack up equipment, banners and posters.
  • Students congratulate one another for their achievement.
  • Students travel back to school.
  • If time permits, students write a reflection, and an evaluation of how they thought they went (did they fulfill their own roles).
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 8

  • Students’ prepare for “Collecting Smiles” shoot 2.
  • Students gather and collect resources needed for the shoot (camera, sound, lighting equipment, banners, posters).
  • Students prepare for travelling to different venue.
  • Students set up venue with banners and posters and students start completing their specific roles allocated to them.
  • Once the set is ready cameras start filming and students begin giving out flowers/gifts to random community members capturing it on film.
  • Students wrap it up and pack up equipment, banners and posters.
  • Students congratulate one another for their achievement.
  • Students travel back to school.
  • If time students write a reflection, and an evaluation of how they thought they went.
  • Students complete WILT.

Week 9

  • Student’s fun film day.
  • Students are able to choose items they would like to film – their own in class film, a short film outside in the playground.
  • Students are instructed that the short film needs to be titled “A Day At My School”.
  • Students create a brief plan of how they may be able to achieve their desired outcome.
  • Students gain permissions from any personal appropriate (other teachers, principals).
  • Students construct and shoot short film under supervised instructions.
  • Students collate content.
  • Students write an evaluation about how they think they went.
  • Students sit in a circle and each are asked to verbally say the things they have learnt and the activities they liked the most.
  • Students are then each asked to verbally talk about 1 thing that they have improved on personally (self-esteem, communicating, and confidence).
  • Students write final WILT.

Week 10

  • Presentation Day.
  • Students reflect on the term. Write a brief recount of the terms activities. They can refer to their journals.
  • Students are to fill out evaluation questionnaire.
  • Students present to a special assembly the films they have constructed.
  • “Ball throwing”, “A Day at My school”, “Collecting Smiles” 1 and 2.