The Literacy Shed

The Literacy Shed is home to a wealth of visual resources that   have been  collected  for over 10 years by a primary school teacher.   The teacher trawls  YouTube, Vimeo and other sites looking for suitable resources to  use in the sheds. The sheds are broadly thematic but sometimes a resource could go in 2 or more sheds .  Find out more 

 

An animation I created with my Year 2 Class.  The film is very useful for internalising higher order language skills particularly at the sentence level.  The film provided a rich context to produce some amazing writing.

A Step by Step Guide to Animation for Education

Step 1:BRAINSTORMING:

  • Problem Solving
  • Improved fluency of language
  • Collaboration and Cooperation
  • Research
The brainstorming process encourages all students to actively engage in asking questions, researching and discussing. Students discuss various themes/story ideas for animation and reach agreement on a particular project.At this stage they learn to problem solve, promoting fluency of language and flexibility of ideas. They learn to use language effectively to elaborate on their own ideas and reach consensus on the final project, encouraging collaboration and cooperation.

Step 2:STORYBOARD:

  • Visual Literacy Skills
  • Enhanced Literacy (Reading and Writing Skills and Vocabulary)
  • Communication and Language Skills
  • Collaboration and Innovation
Storyboarding involves reading about the particular topic the students wish to animate.For instance a chapter from a novel or a scene from a play. The students must create a storyboard that reflects the action they plan, identifying the characters and agree on the various sets /props required. Here they will  learn to experiment with and develop visual ideas using basic sketches enhancing their visual literacy skills. There will also be an overall enhancement of literacy through reading of text and  the use of descriptive language. Communication and language skills also develop through the acquisition of new vocabulary relating to animation and movie making in general. At this point the students also have to agree on the narrative as well as sound effects and music and so forth.

STEP 3:SETBUILDING:

  • Coordination of Thought and Activity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Team Building
  • Appreciation of Various artisitc Media
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
Students allocate various tasks to each other . The sets must be created to reflect the action being depicted in the movie requiring the coordination of thought and activity. Students learn to work as a team while exploiting and promoting individual strengths within that team. The student will also learn various visual techniques used by the media, eg. The use of lighting to depict mood, atmosphere or the passing of time.  When they begin filming they will be able to appreciate and  assess  the effectiveness of the visual techniques chosen. At this stage too, the physical characters are created either through modelling clay, brick figures or any other material that reflects both the storyline and the ideas of the students. They learn how to work with various artistic materials and understand the advantages and disadvantages of using one type over another. The student will learn to critically analyse the merits of such materials and their suitability for various types of projects.

STEP 4:ANIMATION:

  • Cooperation and Collaboration
  • ICT Skills
  • Visual Literacy
This is always the most enjoyable part for students and teachers. All that is required when using I Can Animate is a PC or laptop computer and a WebCam or Camcorder. Students enhance their overall ICT skills, gaining confidence in the navigation of new software and physical use of peripheral devices.

STEP 5:EXPORT:

  • Critical Analysis
  • ICT Skills  
Students get the opportunity to complete their animated multimedia presentation by exporting their movie to a file format for upload to online video sharing sites such as SchoolTube or YouTube or for presentation in class on a TV.  This completes the process allowing the students to reflect on the work they have done and the steps taken and the result is reward in itself.

There are numerous ways to use animation in the curriculum.  Below are some ideas to get you going.  I have used some very simple software by Kudlion called "I can Animate 2"  This is very simple software to use and can easily be used by young children.  The Animation above was created by a group of 6 and 7 year olds.

The company below produce some excellent software.

http://www.kudlian.net