"We need to get our ideas..." - Elena
Planning for the animal movie, the children worked in small groups to brainstorm an idea for the movie and gather their ideas down on paper. We joined back together later in the morning for a second meeting to review the drawings and share our ideas with the group.
"We could animate it!" - Caleb
With the idea in mind to animate the movie, we began to research various types of animation and traditional ways to manipulate images.
The first type we looked at is a Flip Book. Will got the idea immediately, before the tutorial even began. He said, "so he draws the body first, on the first page, and then he draws the thing that the person is gonna do on the next page." Noticing the simple materials and strategy, the children were confident that they could master this method. With Will's instructions you don't even need to watch the video, but just in case, here it is (we watched only the first book with the drawing of a person waving):
Considering the element of sequencing, we looked at a Zoetrope, which utilizes a sequence of drawings to give the illusion of motion and its progressive stages. The video scored major points right off the bat because the example showed our favorite amphibian friend playing our favorite jumping game!
Next, we looked at a Thaumatrope, an early version of animation that dates back to as early as the 1820's and is believed to be the precursor to the motion picture. You might recognize the famous image of the bird in the cage, we watched this video to see how to make one (Lily liked the music playing in the background):
We've also started experimenting this week with
Stop Motion photography, using a free downloadable
app, pictured left. The children have been making mini movies
using the tiny animals from the classroom. They worked with
Sculpy clay to create backgrounds and scenes for the animals
to engage with and natural materials while filming outside.
We'll spend the next few weeks exploring each of these methods, while simultaneously working on our movies, in order to inform our thinking and help us strategize ways to get our animals moving.