I have recently been revisiting the joys of claymation as I have been writing a Making Claymation in the Classroom eBook.
Years ago, I used to lead claymation workshops for educators almost every week. While I still get to every once in a while, what I really miss is doing workshops with students.
This workshop was an exact indicator of how powerful claymation can be--and this was even before we had Frames to make the computer part easy! Did we have some problems during the process? Sure. Did everything work out as planned? Not even close.
However, the workshop was comprised of over 80 upper elementary and middle school students. At one point during the process, I pulled the chaperones aside and had them listen. While there was a nice hum of activity and movement, it was almost dead quiet. Not one student was horsing around, off-task, or complaining. Yep, that's right. Over 80 middle school students in one giant room and not a peep. They were so engrossed in building their characters, storyboards, and sets, I could hardly interrupt to give suggestions. Now that is what I call engaged learners.
And their topics? We had a group recreating battles in the civil war, showing how terrain and troop movements over time affected the outcome. Another group retold the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears so they could take it home to show the 2nd granders who were studying fairytales. Another group created a volcanic eruption, demonstrating plate movements. And the list goes on.
It definitely reminded me of why you want to at least try claymation. There really are few things out there better for engaging students in the curriculum. If you are interested, I encourage you to download the free Making Claymation in the Classroom eBook!
I was reminded of this particular workshop because I found several fantastic photos of these students working on their projects! While I have a pretty strong recollection that I actually got a release form from their parents to use their picture, I can't find it in my piles of releases. So sad!
So, if you are out there Tony, with your chili pepper dude, you still inspire me!