Animated Autobiographies develop skills on many levels

Integrated Technology Unit: Concept to Story Completion

The 4/5s undertook an exciting integrated technology project this term, creating original animations of important events and memories from their life stories.  Students used a computer animation program and had their own studio where they created theirIMG_0603 animation projects, offered constructive critique to classmates, and shared ideas in an open forum. This unit included an informative and educational field trip to gaming company, Vicarious Visions for a behind the scenes tour and presentation of the detail that goes into creating animations and animated characters

There are many benefits of animation projects in the classroom, as they provide a vast amount of learning opportunities for everyone.  Animation presents opportunities for variety of skill development at each stage of the project.  These include:

Creativity: In creating a character, script or storyboard for a video, students not onlyIMG_0601 show what knowledge they have gained, but help the brain to become an even better tool for logical and rational thought.  Before beginning their life story animations, students worked on storyboards as a planning tool.  They then learned how to create animated characters to use in their videos.

Thought process: Building a video takes planning. An initial idea starts as a thought and then starts to come to life as the storyboard, frames, and scenes are created. Working through a process like this helps students to think about working logically through a project.

Finishing a project: Being able to finish a project and show it to others builds self-esteem and provides a platform for successfully accomplishing tasks in the future.  Students find great satisfaction and accomplishment in being able to share their videos with classmates and family members.

Attention to detail: Creating many, sometimes hundreds of scenes, takes careful planning and acute attention to detail.  These are skills that will be useful across many platforms.

Following directions: There are many steps involved in making a film. BecauseIMG_0600 students are highly engaged in this activity, it allows students to gain an understanding on how following directions produces great results.

Collaboration / Teamwork: The best projects are made conferring with others.  Getting feedback from classmates, sharing animation strategies and discoveries on how to complete a task, teaching one another, and sharing a newly discovered animation expertise during the animation process, are elements of teamwork that benefit the final outcome.

The students worked incredibly hard on their videos.  I witnessed students highly engaged, excited, helping and teaching one another, sharing discoveries of how to achieve something in a scene, immense creativity, collaborative problem solving, and pride.  This was a great learning experience for everyone.

During this project, each student discovered an “animation expertise” that they could share with classmates.  For example, on student’s expertise included special effects and creating personalized scenes.  In her self-reflection this student stated that she discovered how to think creatively; one of her favorite parts of this project was making all the characters; and she had a lot of fun!

~Rose Nolan, 4-5 Teacher