Stop Animation: A fun and simple way to turn your students into Spielberg.

Within our ICT lesson on Monday we learnt about stop animation and the possibilities of using it within the classroom.  We got into group and had to create a short movie using toys, play-dough or any other item with a webcam and a piece of software called ‘Monkey Jam’.  To anyone who would have come into the lesson, they would have seen twenty-four 21+ students playing with toys and having a great laugh at what each other created in what is frankly an amazing work environment.  This however is not the case because we simply were not playing, but creating the next big stop animation movie.

Oh yes, we were aiming for the stars. In stop animation the sky is literally the limit, there is no need for big budgets or expensive props, and even though it takes more time than money, the amount of fun you have whilst doing it makes it an ideal lesson/lessons for schools to undertake.  We found five lego men, one was builder, one was a policeman, another was a Native American… (You see where this is going…).  Anyway we found the lego version of the village people and it would have been rude not to try to create something a little like this…

Now we were working in a group of three, with a combined age of 70 and relatively good ICT skills.  Could we create this…well we did try but it seemed that technology had other plans.  We created what we thought was a really good piece however; the software we used chopped it up and deleted parts and threw the ending into the beginning and the middle at the end.  That being said what we created was ok for a first attempt.

It was a great lesson and I would recommend it to any teacher.  I will be certainly using it in my classroom due to the incredible benefits that this lesson has to offer.  Not only does it promote team work and team creativity.  It requires the individuals to enhance their technological understanding of the use of ICT, introduce them to new forms of media, and can be incredibly cross-curricular.

This is our finish video and I hope you have as much fun watching it as we did creating it.


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