SchoolArts Magazine

April 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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over to demonstrate how to use a stop-motion animation program, such as FramebyFrame, and a USB camera. When their scripts were complete and they understood the animation pro- cess, students were ready and eager to make their scripts come to life. Students created their characters and backgrounds using a variety of papers and embellished them with pens, pencils, and crayons. This tech- nique is called "cutout animation." I bought plastic boxes for each group to store their scripts, book, and the large amount of scrap paper they used. Cleanup was easy when students could just throw their materials in their assigned box five minutes before dismissal. It was also helpful to have envelopes and paper clips handy to keep small pieces together. Making the Movies While students worked, I made sure everyone had the materials they needed, showed them how to use the technology, and kept track of time. I circulated around the room to make sure I was available if students needed help or wanted to discuss their ideas. After students finished their ani- mations, I showed how to save it as then "stick" themselves to another pair. The group was simultaneously enthusiastic and focused about their animation projects, which created an environment conducive to creativity. Developing a Script The first two meetings were devoted to writing a script based on the fol- lowing prompt: Animate what a school day would be like if a famous artist was your substitute teacher. Each group researched their assigned artist using books from Mike Vene- zia's Getting to Know series. One person from each group took notes on the artist while they all gathered information about him or her. Once they were familiar with the artist they researched, they wrote a collab- orative script. Cutout Animation As students finished their scripts on the second day, I called each group M y goal as a first-year teacher was to start an after-school art club. I have five laptops in the artroom that I couldn't wait to use, and since I love making animations with iMovie, the art club became the Animation Art Club (AAC). I also feel it's important to include reading and writing whenever I can. With my new goal in place, it was time to get started. I contacted a fifth-grade writing teacher at my school to assist in our meetings. We decided to have the club meet once a week for an hour and fif- teen minutes after school. The AAC would be open to any student in good academic standing in grades three Animation Michelle Savran Art Club through five for the third grading ses- sion of the school year. The day after permission slips were sent home, we received an overwhelming response. We only had space for the first twenty students in the club since we would place four students per computer. On the first day, it was important to let students know what a privi- lege it was to be in the AAC, espe- cially since there was a waiting list. Students selected their own groups using the "sticky hands" method, where they put their hands up like a high five and "stuck" their hands to one other person. Each pair had to After students finished the animations, we held a movie premiere for teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and peers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45. 40 APRIL 2016 SchoolArts E L E M E N T A R Y

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