These are my notes from Jan Cosmos’ (Viterbo University) presentation, “Curriculum Stories with StopMotion Animation” at the 2013 ICE Conference outside Chicago, Illinois. MY THOUGHTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.
Since technology projects can be so time consuming, we really need to focus on project ideas that are WORTH the kids spending time on
story is the way we create a connection between the teller and the listener
– we create bonds this way:
I started using multimedia with students around 1975
– we had a mimeograph machine!
What can you do because of what you know?
Usually you can have students READ OUT LOUD to figure out timing for their projects
– we read a lot faster silently than we do out loud
Stopmotion video is so hands on, manipulative, & collaborative: wonderful for learning
“Sticky Tack” is one of your best friends in these projects, so you can hold down characters’ frets
teacher defines the curriculum focus: presents an overview of:
– class goals
– end product
teachers points students toward avenues of research
teacher and students come together in large brainstorming session to categorize, evaluate, and list what research is significant (worth communicating and remembering)
The idea of embedding the major concepts, facts, etc into a STORY SCHEMA is introduced
Teacher provides guidelines for the story that include
– beginning, middle and end
– heroes, antagonists, supporting characters
– conflicts, obstacles, thresholds, climax…
Teacher allows time for individual, then small group “mulling over,” the various ideas for story. A writing assignment?
Ideas are brought back into a large group brainstorming session. Together refine, hone, and chisel out a story line
In large group, brainstorm, plan, pool resources for what is seen on the screen
– this may be done early in planning as it may play a role in determining the plot and characters, etc.
Things to consider:
– representation of characters: drawn cut outs, action figures, clay, objects, other things?
– backgrounds (artwork, photo posters, use chroma key…)
Students form small group production teams for doing the animation and video production
Writing is a recursive process
– different things play against each other
try not to just duplicate something already created, be as creative and innovative as you can be!
think in advance if anyone could be offended by the stereotyping of villains and others in our story
usually there is NOT a good story unless there is CONFLICT
Put some other 3D objects in your scene
– creates a sense of reality and depth into a scene
Music is a BIG part of animation
Jan showed us a final video she made with students in a weekend class for credit: 5-10 pm on Friday and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday
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