Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves
Central Idea: Storytelling can inform, provoke and make us reflect on our ideas, feelings, beliefs and values
Related concepts: (art and music focus): creativity, techniques, mood
When single subject teachers get together to collaborate, amazing things happen! Not many third graders out there get a chance to write, direct, and mix a soundtrack for their very own animations. The challenge we created for the students was to create a stop motion animation movie with a soundtrack that expresses a mood.
Day 1: We explored the concept of stop motion animation and played with different ways to do it. (Stations were set up with Whiteboard and markers, cut paper, using found objects, etc)
Day 2: We learned about the "tricks" that directors use to express emotion in movies. Among these were zooming in, pausing for effect, fading to light or dark.
Day 3: Students worked in pairs or alone and they chose a mood to express through stop motion. They used a planning sheet and then storyboards organize their thoughts.
Day 4: Students decided on a background and created their characters if they wished.
Day 5: Filming begins! We used the paid version of Stop Motion Studio.
Day 6: The movies are saved to a shared Google Drive folder and then the music teacher took over.
He introduced the children to mood through music and they created compositions for their stop motions in Garage Band. Next they dropped their Stop Motions and soundtracks into iMovie and did some editing.
The finished projects were stitched together into a big iMovie and shown to parents in the theater. It was a very successful unit and I've had many reports from parents of children creating their own stop motions at home.