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Picture a Story: Digital Storytelling

What it is: As I mentioned a few days ago, I am starting a virtual classroom/club for digital storytelling.  I have been on the lookout for great resources, I listed my favorites here, and now I am remembering a lot of tools I left off of my original list (like Toon Doo!).  Today as I was going through my Google Reader, I learned about this gem from Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers.  The Delaware Art Museum has provided a great website dedicated to storytelling.  The tagline is “bringing visual art to life through stories”.  On the site, students can picture a story, experience a story, or tell a story.  The Picture a Story was the most intriguing portion for me, as it provides a great tool for telling a digital story.  First, students choose a genre of story that they want to tell, next they choose a famous painting background for their story, students add characters (also from famous works of art), props, and then tell the story.  In the tell the story section, students type out the story.  If a microphone is available, students can even record the story in their own voice.  When students have completed their story, it can be shared via email. How to integrate Picture a Story into your curriculum: Stories are powerful.  I love the way that Picture a Story weaves together famous works of art with story.  It teaches students to reflect on the art that they encounter and think about the stories that it represents. Picture a Story is a great way to discuss genre, characters, and parts of a story.  It is also a fantastic way to bring a little art history into your classroom.  It would be a neat class experiment to have students choose all the same genre, background, characters, and props and, without talking to others, write their story.  After students are finished they can share their stories with the class.  Students will learn about perspective, creativity, and voice as they listen to all the different stories that originated from the same picture.  If you don’t have access to a computer lab, this activity could be done with an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer and students writing on paper.  Let your students experiment with story and share their finished pieces with each other.  Picture a story is ideal in a lab setting where each student has access to their own computer.  If that isn’t a possibility, you could also have students visit Picture a Story on classroom computers as a storytelling center.  The site is quick to navigate through and students can tell a story in a sentence or a few paragraphs making it a good center.  If students don’t have access to email or can’t email the finished product to you, have them take a screenshot of the story to save in a digital portfolio or to print out. Tips: The teacher section of this site has some great lesson ideas for every grade level. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Picture a Story in your classroom!

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Presenting Learning with Stop Motion Animation

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Create, inspiration, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, web tools, Websites | Posted on 14-09-2011

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What it is:  At Anastasis Academy, we have some Stop Motion Animation PROS in the form of an eight year and ten-year old boy.  These brothers taught themselves how to use stop motion animation, proceeded to create several learning videos (without assistance from a teacher) and, if that wasn’t enough, went on to teach the rest of our students how to do it!  Incredible.  Nothing like starting the day with a little viral learning!  Today these two young boys stood before our junior high students (twelve to fourteen year olds) and taught them how to make a stop motion animation video.  The young boys are SO proud of their accomplishment and were incredibly articulate as they taught the older kids about stop motion, the programs that can be used for stop motion and talked about technique.  The older students followed along as the boys led them step-by-step through creating their own short stop motion video with a pencil or shoe.  The ten-year old then issued the jr. high a challenge: Create a stop motion video before the end of the school day to show me, I’ll give you tips on what you can improve on.  Above is one of the jr. high created videos that was presented.  It was incredible to stand back and watch kids teaching and leading kids this way.  The age difference was no barrier today!

Today, our students used the iMotion HD app on the iPad to create their stop motion animations.  This FREE app is powerful in the hands of creative kids!  The brothers have been using stop motion regularly to reflect on, or display learning.

The older of the two brother’s started learning stop motion using SMA (Stop Motion Animator) this is a free program that works using a PC, webcam and a whole-lotta (technical term) imagination.

For the Linux crowd, there is the free Stop Motion.

For the Mac crowd (cheers), there is the free Jelly Cam.

How to integrate Stop Motion into the classroom:  Stop Motion is a great way for students to create their own animated videos.  Students can use stop motion to display learning, as a way to reflect on learning, to tell a story, to demonstrate a time-lapse of a scientific process or just as a creative outlet.  Stop motion requires students to do some pre-planning.  First students have to decide what story they are trying to tell, next they have to decide how they are going to demonstrate that story visually, finally they need to move an “actor” frame by frame through the scene.  The results are pretty incredible (as you can see above).

Tips:Some tips from our Stop Motion PROS: Make sure not to move your actor too far each time or the end result will be choppy, make sure to move your hand out of the shot before snapping the picture, plan through your story BEFORE you start.

Check out our YouTube channel for more stop motion animation from our students.  The Bones, Gnome.Eaten.By.Jaws, and Anastasis Academy videos were all created by the 8-year-old! (P.S. The kids LOVE comments on their videos!)

This, my friends, is what happens when you give kids room to learn!  Onward.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Stop Motion Animation in  your classroom!

Comments (16)

I loved the video!! What an awesome edgy idea for the students!! Who knows someday they will be designing commercials for Mac!

This is awesome because it shows kids to start with a simple idea and simple tools. I love the use of the whiteboard. I will use this as an example for a project with my kiddos in Greeley!

Had these thoughts in my blog!! The challenge is getting the technology into the classroom!!

This is way too cool! It makes me want to do stop animation.

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Presenting Learning with Stop Motion Animation […]

[…] Presenting Learning with Stop Motion – I went to a fabulous Stop Motion session when I was at ISTE in June. ┬áSince then Stop […]

Great stop motion work guys. I’ve been teaching stop motion to children for several years and have published an extensive guide to making stop motion movies (Stop Motion Handbook using GarageBand and iStopMotion). This may be useful to give you real confidence for your next movies. Check it out here – http://www.acumen.net.nz/pages/NMSSMHandbook.html

It’s very useful tutorial for stop motion. I like your video tutorial.

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] I anticipate that students will use these blocks for stop-motion animation projects as they explore (iMotion HD is the app they use), capture their discoveries of number relationships in their eportfolio (we use […]

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