Stop Motion Animation for kids in School and the Curriculum
Using Animation in School such as claymation is a meaningful way to introduce technology into the curriculum be it mainstream, special needs etc. With stop motion animation integrated into the curriculum the number of student enhancing outcomes grows beyond just creative and artistic expression. The various steps involved in completing a movie ensures the growth and development of every child irrespective of their attainment level. There are 5 steps involved in making a movie. Let's look at each of these steps and show how various learning outcomes can be achieved with this form of animation.
"We absolutely love your software!!! The kids are creating amazing little videos and are having so much fun. Not only are they learning the technological aspects but they are learning how to work as a team as well as learning about decision making as a team. It's terrific! The kids don't want to leave the art room. They all want to come back during lunch too. "
Madeline Bavli - The Brandeis School ,NY, USA
A Step by Step Guide to Animation in School
- Problem Solving
- Improved fluency of language
- Collaboration and Cooperation
The brainstorming process encourages all students to actively engage in asking questions, researching and discussing. Students discuss various themes/story ideas for animation and reach agreement on a particular project.At this stage they learn to problem solve, promoting fluency of language and flexibility of ideas. They learn to use language effectively to elaborate on their own ideas and reach consensus on the final project, encouraging collaboration and cooperation.
- Visual Literacy Skills
- Enhanced Literacy (Reading and Writing Skills and Vocabulary)
- Communication and Language Skills
- Collaboration and Innovation
Storyboarding involves reading about the particular topic the students wish to animate.For instance a chapter from a novel or a scene from a play. It may be worth referring your students to Freytags pyramid to assist with story structure. The students must create a storyboard that reflects the action they plan, identifying the characters and agree on the various sets /props required. Here they will learn to experiment with and develop visual ideas using basic sketches enhancing their visual literacy skills. There will also be an overall enhancement of literacy through reading of text and the use of descriptive language. Communication and language skills also develop through the acquisition of new vocabulary relating to animation and movie making in general. At this point the students also have to agree on the narrative as well as sound effects and music and so forth.
- Coordination of Thought and Activity
- Critical Thinking
- Team Building
- Appreciation of Various artisitc Media
Students allocate various tasks to each other . The sets must be created to reflect the action being depicted in the movie requiring the coordination of thought and activity. Students learn to work as a team while exploiting and promoting individual strengths within that team. The student will also learn various visual techniques used by the media, eg. The use of lighting to depict mood, atmosphere or the passing of time. When they begin filming they will be able to appreciate and assess the effectiveness of the visual techniques chosen. At this stage too, the physical characters are created either through modelling clay, brick figures or any other material that reflects both the storyline and the ideas of the students. They learn how to work with various artistic materials and understand the advantages and disadvantages of using one type over another. The student will learn to critically analyse the merits of such materials and their suitability for various types of projects.
- Cooperation and Collaboration
- ICT Skills
- Visual Literacy
This is always the most enjoyable part for students and teachers. All that is required when using iKITMovie is a PC or laptop computer and a WebCam or Camcorder. Students enhance their overall ICT skills, gaining confidence in the navigation of new software and physical use of peripheral devices.
- Critical Analysis
- ICT Skills
Students get the opportunity to complete their animated multimedia presentation by exporting their movie to a file format for upload to online video sharing sites such as SchoolTube or YouTube or for presentation in class on a TV. This completes the process allowing the students to reflect on the work they have done for their animation in School and the steps taken and the result is reward in itself.
Don't forget to relate the importance of storytelling to your students. The freytag pyramid is a very useful tool for students of animation to refer back to for all structured storytelling.
Even if the animation is only 2 minutes long the same structures apply to effectively tell your story. Once mastered students will automatically use the structure for all storytelling going forward.
Taking the time to plan in advance of animating is key. Ignoring structure will result in a poorly engaged audience for your animation.