Sense Perception: Field Activity

Welcome back to school!


We are now embarking on our trip through Sense Perception as a Way of Knowing. To get us back into the groove of being at school, I thought it would be interesting to do a few activities to get our creative juices flowing and force us to be more aware of how our senses contribute to our knowledge, as well as interact with other Ways of Knowing such as Language, Emotion, Reasoning, Imagination, Intuition, Faith, and Memory.

Part I (10 min)

Use this Google Spreadsheet to brainstorm the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings (touch, not emotion) of the Holiday Break. The challenge is to think of as many as we can and to be specific and detailed – maybe even poetic!

Part II (35 min MAX)

By yourself or with a group of up to 3, walk around campus on a scavenger-hunt of sorts for sensory data we normally overlook.

You can focus on one or 2 senses, or all 5 if you like.

Your theme can be something like : “Hidden Sights of LJA” or “Overheard at LJA” OR perhaps something more abstract like: “Growth”, or “Solitude”.

Task: As you walk around, take photos AND/OR video with your device. It should be something you can easily and quickly upload to YouTube. (you may wish to use Vine or Instagram video and mesh them together in YouTube editor). Stick to your theme or just do a random archive of everything you sense.

TIP: shoot landscape mode

Part III (rest of period)

Make a short film. (key: quickly produced)

1. Upload footage and/or stills directly to your YouTube acct. (choose one member)

2. Edit using the built-in Editing tools in YouTube OR WeVideo 

OR PicPlayPost app (

OR Weavly (great for Vines: )

OR iMovie app on your iPhone 

OR Magisto (free at )

3. the key is to make your editing artistic but fast – you should be pretty much finished by the end of class.

4. Don’t forget a title – it should set the tone.

5. Publish to YouTube (all members should post to blogs)

Here are some samples from the Class of 2014


This I Believe: Project Styles, Specs, and Exemplars

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 12.15.48 PM

Due Date: (i.e posted to YouTube and on your blog and ready to present)
per.2 and 3: Studio Day Oct. 4; due Oct 8
per. 5 and 8: Studio Day Oct. 7; due Oct. 9

I thought I’d compile a brief list of video-making styles that are perfectly feasible with ordinary equipment like

a. a video camera, iPad camera, smart-phone camera, Go-Pro, or web-cam on your computer

b. basic editing software (iMovie, editing within YouTube, Moviemaker, WeVideo, other…)

KEEP IN MIND: your video style should be “do-able” for you personally AND reflect your own unique talents (e.g. artists might wish to draw, paint or sculpt; musicians and singers/rappers might wish to perform, etc.)

A GREAT place to start perusing styles is my “CREATE” folder on Diigo.


1. Use of cards, signs, post-its

2. Use of sped-up film (great for drawing!)

3. Use of voiceover (this is SOOOO much better than recording yourself talking with feedback from the environment. I recommend a SNOWBALL MICROPHONE- I have one you can borrow or you can check one out from the Ideas Lab) ***recording in the bathroom or car helps, too.

4. Use of friends or little kids- everyone likes to see both and it provides a different perspective.

5. Use of your own photography (there are a lot of photographers among you- schedule a shoot!)

6. Use of an inanimate object as your “star” (think metaphorically) 

7. Use of black and white- not often done, but quite effective.

8. Use of kinetic typography – let the text tell your story symbolically.

***one student used PREZI and made a screencast for a poor man’s kinetic typography

9.  Stop-motion animation….great for making objects come to life (iMovie recommended for this)

10.       “Common Craft” style (e.g.


11.    “RSA Animate” style (e.g.

OR the original

12. ·      Camera insert with live screenshots of desktop (e.g.

13. ·      “Choose Your Own Adventure” on YouTube using the Spotlight tool to have other vids hyperlinked within the video


14. Ken Burns Effect (pan and zoom) on own artwork

15. Paint on glass like Picasso

16. A Google Search Story-type

OR see Danny’s:

17. Use of a Go Pro camera

18. Try out PowToon (see tutorials HERE)

19. New app called Magisto makes artsy videos out of stills and video

20. Here’s Madeline’s using Stop Motion

21. Don’t be afraid to show your unique artistic talents like Cori did:

22. Probably one of the most unique- CATS! (what’s the Internet without cats?)

23. Try having a surprise at the end

24. You can even sing or rap, like David

25. Signs are always good…

26. Try using your friends (interview them!)

TOK “Knower”: “This I Believe” project


What are the “core values” that guide your life? 

At the center of the Theory of Knowledge diagram is YOU, the “Knower”. You’ve lived on this planet for 16 some-odd years now and have acquired, developed, adopted, discarded, and shaped a variety of “beliefs” about people and the world. Are you ready to pinpoint some? In TOK we are not only concerned with what you believe, but how you came to believe it and how it affects your decision-making and contributes to your persona. A later blog post will explore the concept of “belief”, and how it differs from “knowledge” more fully.

In 1950’s Cold War-era America, esteemed broadcast journalist Edward R. Morrow hosted a radio program called “This I Believe”. For 4 years, people cold tune in and witness famous individuals and everyday folk eloquently distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived.

“In this brief space, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker…will write about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives”- Edward Morrow 


Read more about the history of the project and the original essayists at

In 2004, This I Believe, Inc. was founded and the essays were revived on NPR, prompting thousands to compose audio and video essays describing their fundamental values. Executive producer Dan Gediman states,

“The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own”

They have produced this pdf for the program, and we’ll be using as a reference:


You can explore:

original essays from the 1950’s (audio),

 browse by theme,

check out the most viewed,

under 18,

or listen to a collection based on a theme under “Special Features” 

To view a collection of the most popular essays in the past 4 years,



For this multi-step project you will be:

1. Participating in a variety of activities with your peers to familiarize yourself with the concept of core beliefs. Keep in mind that for a belief to be “reasonable” there should be some evidence in support of it. Also, beliefs and opinions help to define you as a person — it is necessary to critically scrutinize your beliefs on occasion so that you are not a mere product of blind imitation. As Socrates put it: “an unexamined life is not worth living”.

2. Review at least one “This I Believe” Essay and analyze it for structure. (summarize the essayist’s belief, and describe how he or she supported that belief with evidence). Look for DRAPES (dialogue, rhetorical questions, anecdotes, personal experience, examples, statistics). What details did they use and how did they personalize it? In your opinion, what was the most interesting part and why? Did they discuss times when their belief was challenged?

3. Composing a personal essay of your own (Although the topic is “This I Believe” you can twist it and write about things you USED to believe, or don’t believe in at all by rephrasing to say “I believe there is no______”). You will then use it as the script to produce your own movie presentation. At this point, you can sing or rap what you wrote, incorporate your own artwork, photography, or animation, and the like. There are a variety of web-based tools and apps you can use to create (more info on the actual project in the next post)

4. You might even consider collaborating with either grades K or 1 and interviewing them, a la Tarak McLain

Here are some videos to inspire you:

“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”

Compiled quotes from a HS Journalism Class

“Success Means Leaving the World a Better Place

College Freshman example: “Bourgeois”

“I Believe That There is No God”

“Music is Unity”


Astronaut Dan Tani (from Space!)