Last Monday was the third day of an animation project, Persistence of Vision, that spans the academic year. And what wonderful animations the children created. This was the second of the three that they are making and shows how much they have learnt. We meet as a group of teachers with an animator, Oscar Stringer, and then the teachers go back to school and try out our ideas. So what have we learnt?
This time round the children took control and responsibility for the camera, computer and software and were far more able to problem solve when things didn’t go as they wanted. This is not unexpected but shows that making just one animation a year means that you spend a long time on the technical how to aspects. Make more than one and suddenly all that time is paid back.
The children’s animations showed a much greater management of time. In the first animamtions you could blink and miss all the action or there was so much going on that you didn’t know where to look. This time there were pauses on some actions and enough frames to show what was happening at an appropriate pace. Much easier on the viewer’s eye.
The children who had been watching animations are now taking responsibility for their talk about what they are seeing – discussing backwards and forwards between themselves rather than with the teacher. They are drawing on all sorts of experiences to help make sense of what they are seeing, including their own creating experiences and art experiences that they have encountered in school. This is now also starting to be echoed in their own creations. The influence of Laughing Moon from the BFI Starting Stories dvd can be seen clearly in this animation by a year 6 class. They are also starting to explore how character can be shown through the movement of the robot.
The teachers were much more confident this time round and it showed in the greater freedom that they gave the children in terms of interpretation of the activity and the materials they used when making the animations. The starting point for all was a sound track and the images this created. Everyone approached this differently – one school wrote the words, the music and made the animation.