Lesson plan for a classroom with few computers

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Sarah Wiesner


Age: 5th  grade


Time: 6 class periods


Focus: The student's will learning how to transform a series of photos into a short animation. They will get to choose the objects that they want to move, and they will be either telling a story of making them move to music.



         1. - Create original works of media art to express

specific artistic ideas.

            2. - Revise a presentation based on the feedback of others and self-reflection.

            3.  The students will be learning how to organize a setting, and how to execute an animation.


Motivational Recourses:

            I will be giving a PowerPoint on stop motion and Claymation, as well as, have visual references up to shop how characters could be made. The students will also get to chance to see clips from films that use stop motion, and discuss the strong and week points of the different videos they watched.

Art Material:

-       Cameras

-       Nic nacs that would look interesting in a an animated setting

-       Writing tools

-       Sheet of solid colored material or an area that would work for a background.

-     A few computers with the iMovie program on them.



            Stop motion is said to have first appeared in 1898 in a movie called "The Humpty Dumpty Circus" (Stop Motion Central).  Only a small part of the movie was done in the stop animation style but it opened the door to a new idea of how to create movies. Stop animation is almost as old as animating itself. It is the organizing of still images into a sequence that makes them look as if they are moving. Since its first appearance, many other stop motion artists came about. Some of the examples that are most familiar are Gumby, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Nightmare before Christmas, as well as Wallace and Grommit (Stop motion Central).

            Stop motion was originally made by the animation of non-drawn objects. These objects were usually very rigid and they were just moved slowly across their background that made them look like they were in motion. Later the artists of this style began to use materials such as puppets and Clay. These are a part of the stop motion that we often see today. Wallace and Gromit as well as Gumby are Claymation, which is the form of stop motion that uses clay to execute their animation. The students can focus on any form of stop motion that they want to, so Claymation is an option for them to use. The other thing that is popular today is stop motion with puppets, which is what Tim Burton is known for. No matter if the students chose to make a Claymation or any other type of animation, their first animation should be relatively basic so they do not feel over whelmed. The artists should also stay very conscious of their background, the movie can be either helped or hindered depending on what their background is doing. Stop animation is a lot about timing; every thing that you do to your character will show up in your video, so the artists always have to be careful that when they move the piece they actually did what they were hoping it would do. That is why story boarding is so important in large animation production.

            Stop animation is very rare in today's entertainment and as most of us know, the most recognized name in the system is Tim Burton. Tim Burton grew up in California and went to the California Art Institute. He enjoyed drawing from a very young age and after he graduated from college he began taking on big Hollywood productions. He did work on movies such as, Batman (1989), Beetle Juice (1988), Mars Attacks (1992), Charlie and the chocolate Factory (2005), and Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (IMDb). When he first started at Disney he worked on films such as the Fox and the Hound, however his artistic style was very different from the other artists, but Disney saw that he had an unusual but interesting style, and so they let him do a few films of his own. His first short that he did was Vincent (a story about a boy who wanted to be just like Vincent Price). This was a wonderful look at what his art would be like later on in his career(IMDb). Even though not many filmmakers are making stop animation any more, Tim Burton has found a way to keep it alive and continuously interesting.




Instruction Procedure:

            Class 1: This will be the intro day. We will be having a presentation on Claymation. We will be watching clips from movies that used stop motion. Then we will be setting up a stop motion project that will be involving the whole class. Everyone will participate in this group Animation. By the end of this class the students should have a good idea of what they are doing, and an idea of how to use the medium.

            Class 2: The class will start with an intro of what they are going to do in the project. They will be splitting into groups that will be who they will be working with for the rest of the project. Once they are in their groups the students should decide whether they want to tell a short story or if they want to do a music video. Then they should start planning their video out, and sketching the characters. Encourage them to create a storyboard for their videos. They should know exactly what they are doing for the next workday.

Class 3: This is the first day that they will be working with the cameras. They will all be splitting into their groups and getting to work. They should have made considerable progress into their picture taking at the end of this class period.

Class 4: The students should start loading the projects on the few computers we have. The students who are a little behind will keep working and the others will start animating their projects. The end of this class a few of the groups should have their pictures on the computer. Assign the students to have the sound or music ready to put on their video for the next class period.

Class 5: This class will be a workday again. The students will be taking turns setting music to their movies. The ones that were behind in the last class will load their pictures on the computer. The students that are waiting for their turn on the computer will be participating in other animation projects around the room.

Class 6: This will be the finish up day and the students will be having a critique. We will treat it like a movie premiere. The students should all comment on each other's work and give constructive criticism based on how they fulfilled the requirements.


DBEA Checklist:

            Art Production: The students will be creating a stop motion and learn the techniques to make it successful. They will need to be aware of the pieces and the process of stop motion animating.

Aesthetics: They will have to learn how to make the pieces move and look clean. Also using story-telling skills to make the animation make sense.

Art History: They will be learning about the history of stop motion, how it was come by, and who are the lead animators working in that medium.

Art Criticism: The project will require them to critique each other. Each child will have to look critically at their peer's work as well as their own and give constructive criticism that are based on the requirements for the assignment.




O Reilly, Dermy . "A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation!." Stop Motion Animation . 2007. Copyright StopMotionCentral.com , Web. 6 Dec 2009. <http://www.stopmotioncentral.com/articles-5.html>.


Mr. Beale, . "Tim Burton." IMDb. 2006. IMDb, Web. 6 Dec 2009. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000318/bio>.


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This page contains a single entry by wies0128 published on December 8, 2009 5:10 PM.

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