Okay besides being obviously a very cool art form, I love Stop-Motion because almost ANYONE can do it! You don’t have to excel as an artist to make a great Stop-Motion, you just need to exercise some patience which I think is a great quality to teach. (If moving an object one piece at a time for over 700 frames doesn’t teach that, I honestly don’t know what does.) Also you can make it as complex or simplistic as you want, which really is the classroom differentiation every teacher strives for.
NOT CONVINCED? CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS:
Here are a list of ideas you can use it for if you aren’t convinced, and no I am not going to list Art class although obviously it’s a fit particularly in the whole video/photography department.
Junior Intermediate: Have students create their own creative writing stories and bring them to life with their own Stop-Motion. This requires the use of storyboards. You can also have students add their own voice-overs with certain programs. Reading, writing, listening and speaking all in one shot!
Senior: I would LOVE to use Stop-Motion as a way of having students illustrat their own “TED Talk.” If you visit TedEd’s site you can apply for your school to host a TedEd Club where students create their own topics based on passions. I think Stop-Motion is the perfect venue for a TedEd Club Talk. TedEd Clubs
ESL: I can’t think of a better way of having students associate vocabulary with images.
Junior Intermediate: Take a look at the work of Tim Burton. On his DVD collections there usually are behind the scene featurettes that show the work behind some of his famous Stop-Motions. You can have students analyze the film, and recreate scenes or create alternate endings.
Senior: You could do the same as Intermediate, but I would love to have done a study using Coraline by Neil Gaiman. You could compare the novella to the Tim Burton classic, while creating their own versions. You could also have students create their own commercials looking at advertising and implied and overt messages (perfect for Superbowl season). Hello X-Box Commercial
Junior Intermediate/ Senior: I really enjoy using Stop-Motion as a way of getting across a message. Last year we were able to do this project in tandem with a “Power of Words” theme, which we matched with Anti-Bullying month (April). We allowed the students to create an anti-bullying campaign with messages about the “Power of Your Words.” Some students chose to do this as a talk, others created scenarios where lessons could be learned. Again it is all in how the students spin it. Check out a student example here...
I MEAN THE VERY VERY BASICS:
Below you will see my outline of the VERY basics (by no means am I an expert). It really is as simple as it sounds though. If I can figure it out, that’s saying something. Set-up a steady camera, manipulate your object, take a picture, move one element again, take a picture, and on and on, and when you’re done string the photos together and press play!
When working with students this is the most difficult part. You want something simple, easily manipulated and exportable. Nothing fancy as you want the students to make this THEIR work, and not you practicing your editing skills on THEIR work.
I used an App called Stop Motion Studio, which is FREE on the iTunes Store and fabulous. *Yup that’s the adjective for it. Stop Motion Studio On iTunes. It is simple to use (My GRADE 4s did this and better than me!) I love it because you take the pictures all in one, it has the ability to do voice-overs, and you can add music as well.
Tablet Users: On the Google-Play store there are many different versions. The free version which most users appear to use is Stop-Motion Lite
Good Ol’ Powerpoint Users:
A lot of people I showed this project to asked me if it is possible to do without an iPad. Sure is! Download a FREE template here (.pptx)! Enjoy! Edit away! You can follow the steps in this amazing instructable! All you need to do is import your pictures in order and set your slides to change every 00:00:30 seconds (0.3s) in animations! Instructable!
CLICK HERE! FREE POWERPOINT TEMPLATE FILE!
HELPFUL TIPS:- Keep your pictures in order! What a hot mess if they get jumbled
- Pair Students: Have one student manipulate and one take pictures, this will cut your filming time in half!
- Lighting: If you can’t film in the same day at least have the same lighting for your work so it appears to be the same
- Manipulatives: The best materials we used were lego, and a white board. The kids all know what to do with them, it’s simple and effective!
If you want to try my ISU project on the Power of Words with your students check it out here!
CLICK HERE FOR THE STOP-MOTION ANIMATION PROJECT!