Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Integrated Technology Unit: Concept to Story Completion

 Guest blogger, 4-5 teacher Rose Nolan:

The 4/5s undertook an integrated technology project this term, creating original animations of their life stories.  We began with a field trip to Vicarious Visions for a behind the scenes tour into the detail that goes into creating animation and animated characters. 

The students’ first attempt at animation was creating a flip book.  They discovered how much thought, time and detail go into creating movement of an animal or object.   Next we moved on to animation created by integrating technology.

There are many benefits of animation projects in the classroom, as they provide a vast amount of learning opportunities for everyone.  Animation presents opportunities for variety of skill development at each stage of the project.  These include:

Creativity: Students can show what they know best through the act of creation. In creating a character, script or storyboard for a video, students not only show what knowledge they have gained but help the brain to become an even better tool for logical and rational thought.  Before beginning their life story animations, students worked on storyboards as a planning tool.  They then learned how to create animated characters to use in their videos. 

Thought process: Building a video takes planning. An initial idea starts as a thought and then starts to come to life as the storyboard, frames, and scenes are created. Working through a process like this helps students to think about working logically through a project.

Finishing a project: Students find great satisfaction and accomplishment in being able to share their videos with classmates. Being able to finish a project and show it to others builds self esteem and provides a platform for successfully accomplishing tasks in the future.

Attention to detail: Creating many, sometimes hundreds of scenes, takes careful planning and acute attention to detail.  These are skills that will be useful across many platforms. 

Following directions: There are many steps involved in making a film. Because students are highly engaged in this activity, it allows students to gain an understanding on how following directions produces great results.

Collaboration / Teamwork: The best projects are made conferring with others.  Getting feedback from classmates, sharing animation strategies and discoveries on how to complete a task, teaching one another, and sharing something you discover that you are good at during the animation process, are elements of teamwork and benefit the final outcome. Plus, we really laughed a lot!

The students worked incredibly hard on their videos.  I witnessed students highly engaged, excited, helping and teaching one another, sharing ways to achieve something in a scene, immense creativity, collaborative sharing and problem solving, and pride.  This was a great learning experience for all of us.       

Presenting the completed videos to parents

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