As part of our Olympics project this term, we have been learning about Ancient Greece. We began a storytelling project, with each child learning a story to share with friends and family. The class then chose their favourite four stories to animate.
Working in small groups, we spent some time preparing for the animation, by planning characters and settings for each story. The scenery was made, and the children brought in Lego or Playmobil figures as actors. We 'rehearsed' the stories in the classroom, before setting up the ICT suite with webcams and MonkeyJam, ready for action!
Luckily, we were able to use the room for the day, as computers needed to be shifted to give each group a good space to work in. After a quick demo, the children spent the time until break getting to know how everything worked, how many frames to capture for each shot, where to position the camera, how much to move the figures, etc. After break we restarted recording, and there followed two hours of intense concentration, co-operation and creativity. As expected, some groups needed some adult support, but we were really impressed by the children's independence, confidence and imagination. Each scene was discussed and negociated, camera angles considered and props adjusted. We began with guidelines for rotating tasks and resposibilities, but each group tended to find the best roles for each member, with steady-handed children moving the figures and others controlling the webacams and computers.
We took plenty of photos to record the children's work, but the animations speak for themselves! It was certainly my favourite day of teaching so far this year, and the feedback from pupils and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. We can't wait for the next project!
, Switched On Computing