Animation has many advantages over dramatised fiction:
- Easy to create fantastical sets
- Can be more imaginative
- Any sort of character can be made (and transformed)
- Much easier to manage in a classroom
- A good group activity
- Good for team building
- Scenes in a whole narrative can be divided amongst the class
- Not much space needed
- The set can be left intact and returned to the following day
- Can be very low tech – teachers are familiar with digital cameras
- iPads, tablets or smart phones can be used to contain the whole production process
- Good for special needs children
- As an audience, we accept low production values
- iPads or tablets can be used to contain the whole production process
- Slapstick or aberrant behaviour can be modeled safely
- No dialogue is the dominant mode therefore, visual storytelling is paramount
- Fewer security/child protection issues in terms of children’s images on-line
I recommend starting with cut out paper before using plasticine. Here are some examples:
Then progress onto using plasticine on horizontal surface (see video below). Vertical plasticine models are very challenging to animate because it is difficult to make them stand up and stay upright. For first attempts, the best use of plasticine is the “blob” variety.
All professional plasticine characters such as Wallace and Grommit have wire-frame skeletons. They also use “NEWPLAST” rather than plasticine.
This is my favourite animation (there is no sound):
Tongue Primary School – Nessie – Activities
- Play it many times and observe:
- How are the characters made more interesting in what they do and how they look?
- Why do the fish swim away?
- Why does the boat rock?
- Does the story have a beginning, middle and end?
- How has colour been used?
- Can you create your own soundtrack?
Here are some websites to get you started