The claymation videos are in the final editing stages. Some (like the one embedded at the end of this post) have already been uploaded to youtube. This is my second year doing this project and I have to say, it only gets more and more fun. The 8th graders were on fire to be in art this year (well, I’ve worked hard to make sure they are that way anyway)! One student eagerly asked me “Ms. J., now that we are in 8th grade do we get to make the claymations?” Nothing like knowing your classroom reputation proceeds your actual class.
In the next few weeks I’ll be providing links here to all of the lessons contained within the claymation unit (be prepared, it is a looong unit, but it is FULL of valuable -I think- stuff) on my online lesson plan site. But, until then, I thought I’d give you a little picture taste of how this all goes down:
Step 1: Students were placed into pairs. They wrote a simple story for their claymation (must be totally original). We did a lesson on storyboards. Students had to create a storyboard for their claymation and sketch out each and every character (I told them to keep it to 3 or under).
2. Students particpate in a lesson on character design. They first build pipe-cleaner skeletons for their characters. The pipe-cleaner gives the clay something to hold on to and prevents parts from falling off as they are posed during the claymation video shoot.
3. Students add clay atop their skeletons and add embellishments etc.
4. Students particpate in a lesson on set design and create sets (the sheet of paper is folded in half for a background and ground). They are able to use anything they like in the artroom to color their set: construction paper, paint, markers etc. etc.
4. Students participate in a lesson in shooting “video” for claymation (really just taking photographs). You can see in this photo one the pairs busily shooting their “video.” Note how they have their set, camera, and angle marked with the tape. This ensures that they will be in nearly the same place the next time they shoot (provides continuity in your animation framework).
5. Students import photos to a computer, edit the photos in Movie Maker, research royalty-free music and add/edit it to Movie Maker, add credits and intros, publish as a .wmv file, and (finally) turn in to the teacher on a usb drive to be uploaded to youtube.
Here is one of my favorite current students claymations on youtube. You can view all of the currently uploaded student claymations from this unit by clicking here.
Annnd, you can view on of my favorite claymation videos from last year below: