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December 16, 2008

Example for Seasons Lesson Plan


Clay and White Board Animation!

Our Digital Arts class is focusing on a lot of different animations. Here are a couple animations that were done over the semester, enjoy! One is a clay animation, the other is a white board animation!





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Animation Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan- Seasons
Age Level: 3-5 Grade
Time: 4 Class Periods

Focus: To learn the basics of Photoshop while also focusing on design and color. ( or a paint program if Photoshop is unavailable.)

A. Students will learn the basics of design.
B. Students will work on their color harmonies along with line quality.
C. Students will learn the basic tools of Photoshop.

Motivational Resources: There will be various books and examples to look at to help brainstorm ideas. ( for example, a book by a local artist, “North Spring Country.�)

Art Materials: Photoshop/ QuickTime

Introduction: It seems as though technology is on the rise, so I believe it is important to be up to speed on the latest programs. In this lesson you will learn the basics of Photoshop and will learn how to construct layers and turn it into a video using QuickTime. You will then at the end of the class present your short movie to the class during a short critique and then the instructor will then later combine all of the videos together so everyone can see them all in action.

Instructional Procedure:

DAY ONE: Introduce the assignments goals as listed above. Break the class into four groups, one for each season of the year, (summer, winter, fall, spring.) Have each group make a list of simple ideas that could be used in their small videos.


In the winter you could build a snowman.
In the summer you could bounce around a beach ball.
In the spring you could illustrate flowers blooming.
In the fall you could jump into leaves.

Once each group has brainstormed ideas have each student choose an idea they would like to work with. Students are allowed to have the same storyline, considering the videos will be drastically different regardless.

DAY TWO: Have the students work on Photoshop. Teach them the basic use of the main tools that are applicable to this assignment. Be available and knowledgeable for student questions.

DAY THREE: Strictly a workday! If students start finishing help them individually turn their layers into a video.

DAY FOUR: Students should be finishing up at this point. Help the rest of the students individually make their layers into a video. Have a short in-class critique as listed below.

Background Information:
Art Production: Students will learn how to use Photoshop and Quicktime and expand on their creativity.

Art History: Students will see how Photoshop is effecting artwork today.

Art Criticism: The students will participate in an in-class critique. ( Maybe they will critique a couple animations as a class.)

Aesthetics: The students will appreciate the aesthetics that are made possible by Photoshop while working on color harmony.

Art Appreciation: The students will gain appreciation for the many uses of Photoshop.

Evaluation/Assessment: On the final day of the assignment, students will participate in a critique. Go around the room and let each student present their QuickTime video and have their peers give them constructive criticism. If not age appropriate, have a discussion about sound that could work with their movies.


Gibbons, Gail. The Seasons of Arnolds Apple Tree. 1

Reeve, Lindbergh, and Liz Silverston. North Country Spring.

December 4, 2008

iWeb, iMovie, Garageband, and Podcasting!

We have been playing around with some programs to help enhance our animations. There are a lot of options out there, and a lot of tools to know!!

Volunteering in the Schools!

Reflecting on Experiences: Homecroft and Woodland with Deb Hannu, and a teaching experience at the Tweed.

My first was volunteering at Homecroft Elementary School with Deb Hannu. As I walked the halls in search of the art room, I noticed a handful of displays showing off all of the beautiful artwork the students of Homecroft created. Once I got to the classroom, I was there a little over two hours. First she had me sit back and observe the students while I worked on a small project in the corner. The classroom was set up in rows where the students could huddle together while working on their latest assignments. There were various posters and other fun items on the wall that seemed to give the classroom a relaxed and fun atmosphere. However, even though it was an art room I thought it was lacking. It didn’t have a sink or much room for storage. However Deb Hannu told me that the building was going to be completely renovated, so hopefully a better art room is on the way.
The two classes I was there for were both second grade. The first was very well behaved and you could tell that they were excited and happy to be in the art room. The second class was a tad more rowdy, but excited to be there none-the-less. The classes were short, only about 45 minutes each. The students had two projects to work on, they had the one they had started last week as well as the one given for this week. The first class was quiet and patient and seemed to get to work right away. The second class was a little livelier and even though I was introduced they were dying to know more. Students were coming up and asking me for help with their latest projects so I jumped right in. It seemed as though many students wanted my help not because they “didn’t get it� but because they thought I was “so cool.� Deb Hannu does a great job with classroom management. If the kids are talking out of turn she calls them out on it, but at the same time doesn’t waste a ton of time on doing so. I could tell she knew how to run a “tight ship� per say.
I also volunteered with Deb Hannu at Woodland Middle School. She teaches a Digital Arts Media Class, along with the regular 8th grade Art curriculum. I volunteered for two and a half hours and was able to witness two classes. When I first arrived I made my way to the computer lab it was just how I had pictured it, with the computers side by side in a handful of rows. It was located in the back of the library, which was neat incase they needed other research materials. I was there a tad early so Deb sat down with me and showed me everything she had been doing with the students thus far. It’s her first time teaching the Digital Arts class so it has been quite the learning experience for her as well. However, she did mention how she loved it, and that she is very excited to teach it again because there are a few things she would change the second time through. In her binder I saw that the DBAE standards were being used and that every lesson plan was kept along with a reflection.
Both of the classes were 8th grade students, and both of them were really laid back. It was mainly work time for both hours. The students sat back and played with various programs while searching google for images they could incorporate into their project. Some kids brought digital images from home; many students were scanning images in as well. Overall they all seemed very tech savvy and more than capable. By the end of the two hours I came to the conclusion that the students in these classes could teach me a thing or two!
The second class started a lesson that day before they had the rest of the hour to work on it. Deb Hannu hooked her computer up to a projector and gave the students a tutorial on a web art collection site to make their project for the day easier on them. She explained how to use the site and where everything was located. Most students sat and watched, many followed along on their own computers. And a few students goofed off and had to ask a neighbor for directions.
The lesson planned seemed really straightforward, however it was only the first half of the lesson. Each student got a handout, which was in a way an “image hunt.� They had to find works of art to fit different categories using a link off of the Ghetti online workshop. They were writing in the name of the work of art, along with the artist. The students seemed to have fun with this assignment; most of the children seemed very particular in what they wrote down. Everything they found spiked their interest and enthusiasm. The list of things they needed to find was large enough to keep everyone busy for the entire hour, and it sounded as though they were working on the same thing the next class period only with a substitute teacher. Which was nice, because the students knew exactly what they are doing. I liked how the lesson worked well for every student, and was very flexible to accommodate all learners.
At Woodland, Deb uses strictly the lab for one class, and has another room upstairs for the 8th grade art course. However many days both classes utilize the lab. It was interesting seeing Hannu switch from 2nd to 8th graders. She seemed to be a lot more laid back with the 8th graders. You can tell she really enjoys her job. The kids are all rotated through the classroom, it seems as though both Homecroft and Woodland have more art days than most. Deb works every morning at Woodland from 7:30 to 10, and then she is at Homecroft every afternoon until 5. It sounds as though she has a hectic schedule; she mentioned how it’s stressful at times but completely worth the hassle. During the 4 classes I observed I didn’t notice any special needs in the classroom, however if there were, I’m confident Hannu would handle it accordingly.
Both of my experiences at both Homecroft and Woodland were interesting, however they left me wanting more. I craved more hands on with the students. Joellyn Rock had mentioned to our digital arts class an opportunity to volunteer in the Tweed. A few of us jumped on the chance for this experience since it was convenient and seemed like it would be more fulfilling than going into the classroom; this was something new to try out, which was exciting. Susan was expecting 40 second graders from Lowell Elementary to be coming in for two days. Forty is a lot of children for one person to tame, so that’s where we came in. The three of us prepped a few activities with the students that had to do with the latest exhibit at the Tweed, Wanda Gag. We set it up where we would have 20 kids for half of the time and then we would switch. We got to do our lessons with the students a total of 4 times! It was a great success. The children were all very well behaved and excited to be there. They were easy classes to control. The students had a great time and everything went accordingly.
We set up the space so the students were able to sit on the floor. We broke them down into three groups so we could all be one-on-one with our own group. We had two activities as well as an activity booklet that was provided for us by Susan. We had to be very careful with time management to make sure that the students were able to get through all of the activities. It was a great experience, and I’d love to do it again.

Experiments in Animation Techniques

Andy and I were in charge of animation techniques involving the light table. We tried out both sand and paint animations in class. The sand was far more successful, but both were fun. The sand was nice because it really captured texture in a beautiful way. And to top it off, it was pretty simple to clean up and it was easily controlled. It was nice how you can always reuse the sand, and I also enjoyed how the image looked with one color of sand. It was simple and really enjoyable.

The paint was a little more tricky, we made the mistake of using a variety of colors; which eventually looked muddy. We used tempra paint, since it has easy clean up and is safe to use. I didn't like how quickly it would dry, it made it difficult to take away sections as you add over the image. It was also a pain to cleanup. If I were to do this again, I would limit the colors; maybe all warm or cool tones? But overall, I did not care for paint on the light table. But it was worth checking out!

I think students would really enjoy light table animation. It is something new and exciting, and the end result can be really fun.


For my final project I was going to focus on a digital presentation about Wanda Gag's work. However, once I got started it seemed a little too much like a power point, and I really wanted to work more in Photoshop since my skills are still very rusty. I want to continue to play with the tools so they become second nature, and I didn't want to bit off more than I can chew.

I played around with two short animations. Both 20-30 frames each. One is a flower blooming, and one of an eclipse. I wanted to do an animation that can cycle through. Both are pretty simple, but the flower animation is a bit choppy; so I think I will stick to the eclipse animation and focus more on that.

I made the images in photoshop, I did use a couple filters but I don't think it's too over done. To create the eclipse, I cut out a circle with the same cloudy pattern on it over a bright yellow sphere and moved it a tiny bit with every frame in order to create an eclipse.


In class we have been focusing on various types of animation. As I was browsing the web I came across PES Animation. They are fun and creative and extremely successful. Some are as short as three images, yet they can engage the viewer for minutes at a time. PES does a variety of things, including commercials. If you are playing around with animation, I highly suggest you check out their site!! I have a feeling it will help you spark some really great ideas!!




Lesson Plan- Wanda Gag Story Board
Age Level: 2nd Grade
Time: 1 class period

Focus: To have fun with animation while reflecting on our experiences and knowledge on the artist Wanda Gag,

A. Students will work on their fine motor skills.
B. Students will work with line quality.
C. Students will gain knowledge about Wanda Gag’s art and style of drawing.

Motivational Resources: The lesson will take place in the Tweed, where her show is up. In addition to experiencing her exhibit, the students will watch a power point about Wanda Gag, and they will also receive an activity book

Art Materials: Post cards, China Markers, Scissors, Masking Tape, Story Board, Camera, Tripod

Introduction: Today we are going to make our very own kitties, just like the one in Wanda Gag’s story, “Millions of Cats.� Once we are finished making our kitties, we are going to take turns placing them on the story board where we will then create our very own animation!

Instructional Procedure:

Break the students into three equal groups; one for each helper. Show students various Wanda Gag examples to inspire them to draw their own kitty. Draw a kitten with the students to help them with the correct form, make sure students leave a margin around the kitten. Once kittens are drawn, have students cut them out, this is where the margin comes in handy. Once kittens are cut out, give each student a piece of tape to place on the back of their kittens. Once this is completed, the students should be directed over to the story board where they will take turns placing their kitten on the story board while one of the helpers takes a new picture with every kitten addition.

Background Information:
Art Production: Students will create their very own kitty while learning a form of animation.

Art History: Students will learn about Wanda Gag and her book, “Millions of Cats.�

Art Criticism: The students will critique Wanda Gag’s Drawing style.

Aesthetics: The students will appreciate the aesthetics of Wanda Gag’s artwork.

Art Appreciation: The students will gain appreciation for Wanda Gags exhibit, and various animation forms.

Evaluation/Assessment: The classrooms will be sent a link to view and discuss their animations!!


Inanimate Alice!


I have been reading an online digital story called, Inanimate Alice. I find it rather captivating and it is helping me gain ideas to use in future lesson plans. I really enjoy how the story lines used can be entertaining for a wide range of ages because certain ages would take in different aspects of it. It seems to me it is a storyline that can grow with the viewer. I really enjoy how the story engages the viewer with various interactive qualities that are simple enough where even those who are not "tech savvy" are able to participate. I also appreciate how as the stories continue, they build-up and become more interactive. I think this is a fun online activity for everyone to check out!!

Effigies of Peace and Protest

Effigies of Peace and Protest: THE ART OF SOCIAL ACTIVISM

On September 25th I visited the depot to look at and experience the art of social activism. The curator was a Duluth artist, Mary Plaster. She holds a MA in Studio Arts and has worked a few times with puppet and mask theater. The puppets were giant and very impressive. Some took even four people operate! They put on a short parade, where local students and volunteers participated; and then various puppets and other related artwork were set up for viewing. It was mind blowing seeing these larger than life puppets come to life, and it was great seeing the community coming together for this experience.