Saturday, April 19, 2014

Claymation Story Telling

I am on a tech team at school and something that we are really trying to work on is using technology as "student tool" rather than as a "teacher tool".  I am trying to implement more "real-world" uses for technology in my classroom.  As I was teaching my kids about time lapse photography, I showed them a project I did with my daughter a couple years ago.  It was pretty fun and could definitely be used in the classroom, so I want to share it with you.

Over spring break (third grade), she was given the assignment to learn to do something new and share it with the class.  She is really into cartoons so we decided to learn to make claymation videos.  She thought of a simple story with a beginning, middle, and end.  Her story would be about a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly with a very Emma ending!  She used clay to build the scene and the character.  She posed the scene, and we took a picture.  She would move things a tiny bit, and we would snap another picture.

We did this over and over as she told her story.  We put all the finished pictures together in a slideshow.  We set each slide to transition after 0.10 seconds.  Here is her final product:

With all the technology that is coming into classrooms today, this could be applied to many areas!  Here are a few ways that I can think of to use claymation and videography in the classroom:

  • Kids could write their own stories as my daughter did, or re-tell stories they have read.  
  • This could be used as an alternative to book reports.  
  • It could also be applied to math.  You could give them a word problem and have them animate it. For example,  "Four frogs were in a pond.  Three more joined them.  How many frogs were there in all?" To simplify the project, they could use plastic frogs and just take pictures of four frog and adding three more to the "pond".  
  • Use as a way to illustrate vocab words!
  • I love using sign language in the classroom.  Kids could finger spell sight words or spelling words and take pictures of hands as they form each letter.  Put photos together to see words spelled out.
  • Illustrate life cycles and chemical reactions!
  • Retell a historical event.
  • Create their own social stories.
There are SO many ways that this could be used to enhance lessons and use technology as a student tool.  My kids are definitely going to play around with videography and claymation before school lets out.  Please let me know if you do this in your classroom or have other ideas about how it could be applied.  


Debbie K said...

I love this post, Autumn. I've posted a link to it in my blog Always Primary by Debbie K. I'm wondering what program you used to make the video with your daughter?

Autumn Morrison said...

Thanks, Debbie! We actually made it in PowerPoint! I love PP! I just put an image on each slide and set-up automatic transitions with a fast transition speed. It was SUPER easy!

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