Vicki Davis
IT Director / Teacher / Blogger

How Adobe Spark Encourages Creativity in the classroom: Project Based Learning

Curriculum Published 3/4/20 Last updated on 3/4/20

Students can be filmmakers in this fun, engaging project that teaches graphic design, photography, the prototyping process and more. I’ve created the unit plan, lesson plan, and rubrics for this project-based learning experience that brings together the graphic design concepts I teach in my class.

Sponsored by Adobe. I’ve uploaded these resources to the Adobe Education Exchange, a fantastic resource for educators looking to use Adobe products in the classroom. I’ve been teaching with the Adobe Suite for over fifteen years and it has helped inspire creativity in my classroom. See also, the Adobe Premiere Rush movie project.

Project Overview

Milestone 1: Brainstorming List and Ideas

Students will gather in groups by genre of film and brainstorm pitch ideas and movie names. They will collaboratively create at least 20 ideas for film names and some plot ideas.

Milestone 2: Pitch document

Students will create a pitch document with a movie title, plot overview, and ideas for movie titles to secure the “green light” for their movie idea.

Milestone 3: Mood Board

Students will create a mood board with 20 inspirational artifacts for the graphic design of their movie project.

Milestone 4: Photograph

Students will take photographs using three-point lighting techniques to accurately portray the mood and genre of the film project.

Milestone 5: Movie Poster

Students will create a final movie poster to use for marketing their movie to a target audience.

Milestone 6: Oral presentation to Potential “Movie Goers”

Students will present to an audience of peers. Each audience member will have a limited number of movie tickets they can use to “purchase” to see the movies pitched at the event.


Students learn by reflecting, so I’ve included a document that can be adapted and put in your Google Classroom or can printed for reflection purposes. This integrates the project with the writing curriculum as well.

Key aspects of project-based learning with this project

This is a fun project as students discuss everything from film genres to plots. But from my perspective, I’m teaching the design process, graphic design, and I even use it to teach green screen/ chromakey in Photoshop (although this is optional.) Adobe Spark is a powerful tool that underlies what happens in this project and makes it simple. The tool is a web and smartphone tool that is simple to use as you teach more complex topics. This project can be adapted for many ages.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Spark

    Adobe Spark is an easy-to-use tool that helps you turn your ideas into compelling social graphics, web stories, and animated videos

  • Lightroom

    The cloud-based photo service for people who love photography.

  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

1+ Week
Content Standards
Custom Standards
AAVTC-IGD-2 2.4 Investigate how graphics and design permeates our daily lives. ELACC9-10SL1- Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. ELACC9-10SL4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task. AAVTC-IGD-4 Examine the professional and ethical issues involved in the visual communications and design industries. 4.1 Identify basic copyright issues for graphic communications and design industries to include understanding the use of Creative Commons copyright. 4.2 Explain the consequences of copyright infringement. 4.3 Explain ethics issues for the graphic communications and design industries. AAVTC-IGD-8 Demonstrate proper usage of measuring units and devices. 8.1 Examine and construct documents with multiple measurement systems used in the field (including inches and picas). 8.2 Understand and accurately execute measurement conversions. AAVTC-IGD-10 Generate and manipulate various graphic imaging processes. 10.1 Discern appropriate use of technology in areas of color and design choices. 10.2 Evaluate photographic digital input techniques for maximum effect. 10.3 Manage resolution issues. 10.4 Assess the issues of sizing images in various forms. AAVTC-IGD-12 Understand and demonstrate how to design a page layout. 12.1 Demonstrate how to log on/boot-up, save, and print using a page layout program. 12.2 Demonstrate proper document set-up. 12.4 Demonstrate text alignment, element positioning, and rules of page design for printed matter. 12.7 Proofread, edit, and make corrections/adjustments to copy on the screen. AAVTC-IGD-13 Identify and define the five elements incorporated in basic graphic designs and understand the application of effective color usage. 13.1 Identify the utilization of the elements of design including line, shapes, value, mass, space, texture, and color as they apply to basic design. 13.2 Understand the color wheel: primary, secondary, tertiary. 13.3 Understand the use of color schemes, such as analogous and complementary colors. 13.4 Understand and apply the psychology of color in design. AAVTC-IGD-20 Explore the different electronic imaging processes. 20.1 Create images by using an electronic media process from concept to delivery. 20.2 Identify the steps in making an image using one process. 20.3 Demonstrate an understanding of the terms and technology of the process.
ISTE Standards
Students: Creative Communicator, Students: Empowered Learner, Students: Digital Citizen, Students: Innovative Designer, Students: Global Collaborator, Students: Knowledge Constructor
  • Filmmakers Journal
  • Adobe Spark (to make labels)
  • Web Browser
  • Color Printer
  • Foamboard, Posterboard, Glue
  • Smartphone
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • 3 LED Lights
CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
5 / 5 • 3 Ratings

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Sheryline Bustarga

Posted on 6/21/20 1:36:00 AM Permalink

Thank you for this timely​ resource.

Nicolle Alexandre Sherwood

Posted on 3/19/20 11:56:16 PM Permalink

Thank you for this resource... using it in my "suddenly homeschooling" situation and my kids are very excited. Since I am not a graphic design professional, where can I find more help instructing them on the photograph assignment (fill, key, backlights, etc.). Thanks again!​