Today was our second day of the animation project that we are taking part in. The teachers came with animations their children had made, were ready to discuss the learning that had taken place.
I have to say that the animations were fantastic and whilst we talked several things became clearer to me:
- when working as a team you need to be effective at sharing the visual idea so that all can buy into it and understand what is to be achieved. I was however left with the question about what was the best way to do this. I suspect there is no one way that is the ‘best’ but ways that work for some more than others. Whatever it is, sketching, photographing, talking etc this leads to storyboarding and storyboarding is important.
- group dynamics were important. Time and time again the teachers reported that the group that worked best together produced a quality animation. This illustrates the need to teach the skills of collaboration – not just expecting children to be able to do it. And probably these issues are barriers to learning generally not just animating.
- managing the timing or speed of action was an important skill that needed further development. Pauses are important in animation and provide a sort of full-stop or break like a paragraph. It means that the animation is not action, action, action.
- some groups had too much going on in their animation. I can only liken this to writing that goes on and on but doesn’t really go anywhere and the reader is not really sure what to focus on. The learning from this is that the children need to develop the idea of directing the viewer’s attention. Other groups didn’t have enough going on. I often read writing like this which is what I call minimalist. Again I think the children need to focus in on what they want their veiwer to ‘see’.
This will inform how we develop our teaching of animation over the next few months.
As we are teaching animation at least three times across this year linked to poetry we then went onto look at how we could provide a different stimulus for the children and so started with sound.
We listened to three sounds, one at a time and talked around the images they generated for us. This was a fantastic activity because the longer we did it the less literal the images became and then it started getting interesting. From this sound we then created an animation and finally added the sound by exporting the images and importing into Movie Maker. Below are two of the results. We did have one crash and loss of work. It’s a painful way to learn to save, save, save.
I will write about the children’s animations in another post.