Because of all of the news around SAIS’s grand reopening last week, you might have missed the announcement of our first SAIS-led International Student Film Festival, which will take place during the second week in June. Schools and students from around the world are invited to share their stories through short films. In this project, students are asking themselves the following guiding questions:

  • How can we tell a compelling story?
  • How can stories move people?

We have shared our project with young people around the world, so we’ll see which students end up joining us! Please take a look at the video that SAIS Principal Laura Flaxman put together to announce the festival. The video and more info:

As mentioned last week, our fifth through eighth grade students have been working on storytelling through narrative and film all semester as they prepare for their final film project. Last week, we looked at the what our 7th and 8th graders were working on; this week we are examining work from our 5th and 6th grade students.

This is the setting:

Imagine sitting on a street corner with your tummy growling because it hasn’t seen food for over three days.  Imagine asking:  Where will I sleep tonight?  Will I be warm? Imagine looking down at your dirty clothes and thinking:  When last did I have a bath and change my clothes? Imagine YOU – being only three years old.

During this project students were asked to investigate how they can make a difference in these people’s lives.  The goal was to create a film that inspires people to help others in need.  The students analyzed different case studies and wrote a descriptive narrative about some of the pictures they discussed.  They chose their own picture of a person in poverty. They then designed a book cover for their narrative. Students investigated the ways in which they as pupils can help people in poverty and then created a billboard that advertised their virtue.  They also had to pick the correct pictures and songs to play in the background of the video they were going to make.  Finally, they had to put all these elements into a heart-inspiring video.


A student Billboard. What virtue is the student advertising?




And how about here?

What do you see the student feelswill help change the world?



This is great advice. Is it part of your culture too?



Here we see a practical suggestion.

Is this the easy answer?



Below is an example of a book cover created by Coco.

What a fantastic design Coco – well done!

Here are some of our student’s stories:


            Hard work pays off Story written by:  Jack   Grade 5




Owen was a poor boy. He was only 9 years old. His mother passed away. His father was sick. He was short and thin. He lived in a small village. He was working on a farm day and night. He worked there because he wanted to earn money to raise the family. He asked the farmer, ’’Can I have a rest?” ”No way!” the farmer said furiously. Owen silently walked away.​




         The life of Cosmo Story written by Aziza


It was a sunny autumn day when 10-year-old Cosmo finally came out of his room to find gratitude. As he walked down the stairs, he fond that his mom was not waiting downstairs like usual. Something was wrong. . . . When he got to the kitchen, he was about to start with the morning dishes when he felt a hand grab his bruise. Oh no he thought, Cosmo was probably going to get beaten. What did I do this time he, wondered. Cosmo had not recovered from last time he was . . . “STOP!” he screamed but when the hand stopped pulling and everything came back into focus he saw his mom rise above him with her hand raised.


These are the opening paragraphs of some of the students’ work.  What great work and congratulations to Ms. Rene and Mr. Mark who have led this project in deepening literacy among our 5th and 6th grade students. Congratulations to you all!