Monday Success: Stop Motion Films

Apr 8, 2013 by

Every week on Monday I share a classroom success story that started with teachers using technology. PLEASE SHARE your stories of success in the classroom so other teachers are willing to take chances too!  This week we hear from Brad and Christa again, the same two teachers who shared about their Vocab Smackdown a couple of weeks ago.  They are constantly trying new things in the classroom.  Here is another great example from Christa:

“There is a fad on YouTube (mostly in Britain) called Draw My Life where famous/professional YouTubers draw important events from their lives, speed the frames, and voice-over an explanation. I watched a couple of these and loved them. I made one myself that summarized a chapter in the book we were reading in class. When I showed it, the students were mesmerized.  The students thought it was great.  They didn’t even believe it was me drawing or talking.  Here is the example I made:


So I put them in small groups – three to four people – and had them create one of their own. I provided a few flip cameras, a class set of laptops, dry erase markers, mini white boards, and I let students use the white boards on the walls.  They had five days to produce a movie that summarized pages 36 to about 200 in The Princess Bride.  I had them start with a list of plot events.  Then they sketched our their pictures as practice.  Then they filmed.  Final stage was voice overs.  iMovie is dependent upon a strong network connection, which caused some hiccups so some students simply spoke while we watched the movies in class because they couldn’t get voice over on their movies.  Here are a couple of examples:



I left the kids a lot of freedom in how they wanted to get to the end product: a movie that summarizes our story. Most of them made one like mine, but a few branched out. We also had to take several deep breaths when the technology did not want to cooperate.   Overall, I am really proud of what the students produced.  I will definitely do it again next year, but I will have them summarize 20-page sections instead of such a huge chunk of the book.”

 I really, really like this assignment.  Could this be an option for students in addition to the traditional book report?  That is the beauty of giving students the freedom to demonstrate their understanding- we can still hold them to high standards while giving them options to demonstrate their understanding.  Great ideas- thank you Christa and Brad!


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