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Animation Chefs: Kids learn animation

What it is: Animation Chefs is a fun website/blog that teaches kids how to create their own animations using stop motion video techniques.  The Animation Chefs teach how to create animations using a “secret” recipe.  To create animations you need two things: a camera and a computer.  Animation Chefs aim to help young producers of stories and animation learn about the latest and greatest ways to get their content created.  The blog will continually be adding tips, tricks, and tutorials for creating online animated videos. How to integrate Animation Chefs into your curriculum: Animation Chefs is a great place for students (and teachers) to learn the tricks of stop motion animation.  Students can use this site to learn new techniques and get advice for creating their own videos.  My students loved creating their own videos.  Any time I mentioned a video project, the students would ask daily when we would start with it.  Our students have grown up in the video generation and this is one of the languages they want to learn to speak in.  Visit Animation Chefs as a class to learn about stop motion animation, for inspiration, and to learn new tricks.  If you have students that are particularly intrigued by using video to tell a story, this is a great place for them to learn the tricks of the trade.  Often we as teachers shy away from lessons that we aren’t familiar with.  With Animation Chefs, even if you aren’t familiar with creating stop motion animation, you can provide a fun learning experience for your students.  How can your students use stop motion videos for learning?  Students can tell any story, illustrate their learning, explain a difficult concept, reflect on learning, or create videos for younger students/grade levels.  In my computer classroom, I had students take a picture of themselves every single time they logged into the computers during the school year.  We put all of the pictures in a “me” folder on their desktop, labeling each picture with the date.  The last week of school, we created a stop motion video with all of the pictures by putting them into iMovie and setting the picture clip to 1 second.  Students added music that they created in Garageband and a title page.  The end result: each had videos of their school year where they could watch themselves “grow” up.  This works especially well in second through fifth grade where the changes in a years time are marked. Tips: Animation Chefs has a Twitter page, if your class is on Twitter, they may be a good tweep to follow as a class. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Animation Chefs in your classroom!

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Planet Quest: Alien Safari

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-05-2011

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What it is: Planet Quest Alien Safari is an interactive exploration adventure that encourages students to click on “life zones” around the world to find bizarre and extreme organisms that live on Earth.  Students will also learn about what the extreme organisms reveal about finding life in space.  As students explore they will learn about organisms that can live without sunlight, those with the highest radiation dose, those that are the most acidic, those that live the furthest underground, those with the strangest habitat and those that are the hottest.  Students click on a life zone on the 3D Earth to begin a video introduction to the organism.

How to integrate Planet Quest: Alien Safari into the classroom: Planet Quest Alien Safari is going to be a popular one with your boys.  My students got a kick out of “discovering” new organisms.  Use Alien Safari when discussing different life forms, classifying organisms or studying space.  My students wanted to do more than just explore the organisms, they wanted to write stories about them.  Students wrote creative stories imagining what kind of super hero the organism would be, or making them into super villains (As I said, the boys have fun with this one!).

Ask students to make predictions about the organisms based on where they are found, what does their geographic location tell us about the organism?

Tips: The music on this site gets a little OLD (at least for me, the kids may disagree) I had the kids use headphones when they were accessing this site independently.  If you are using it with the whole class and an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can turn the music off in the bottom right corner.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Planet Quest: Alien Safari in your classroom!

Comments (1)

This is a great find and will be a useful one in the classroom for me. Thanks for sharing.

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