My last foray as a travelling technology integrator was yesterday. It was delightful. I'm heading back to the classroom in the fall.
I was asked to introduce stop motion animation to a group of grade 3 and 4 students. The teacher had prepped the students by having them plan a beginning, middle and end to their animated stories and had talked with them about what type of materials could be used.
Just as you see in this photo: Credit to Tim Clarke the students scattered on the floor of the classroom. You want to talk about total engagement. Students were in groups of 4 and had the opportunity to talk about their projects along the way. For the entire day yesterday, there were no discipline concerns, there was a high level of student engagement and the kids were having just plain fun!
Time and time again I saw students working together, problem solving, laughing, being excited. Groups would divide the jobs. There would be camera operators, animators, software and laptop experts. But what I noticed most was that all the group members were contributing to how the story was being told. Now that is huge. Each member with a voice on how the story will be told.
So if you haven't tried stop motion animation in the classroom, you may want to give it a try. All you need is an inexpensive web cam, some software a few found materials to create a story, and you'll be in business.
Update: Watch for my article on Stop Motion Animation Storytelling and Boys Engagement in an upcoming issue of Creative Educator magazine in the fall. The article will also appear in a special #iste11 hard copy next week.