Fifth Grade: Stop-Motion Animations

The last time I did this project almost three years ago:

  • It was my first year of teaching (so clearly, it was the perfect time to pick such an involved project)
  • It was done with fourth graders who were very new to me, and I new to them
  • The assignment was wide open. No theme. (Really Ms. Ejaz?! We can do whatever we want?!)
  • We used digital cameras
  • I pulled all of the photos into Windows Movie Maker, adjusted the frames per second
  • I had each team individually record their sounds onto my laptop
  • Then I went back into Movie Maker and saved each movie
  • Then I uploaded each video to Youtube
  • Whew.

Fast forward to this year, and I’d like to thank two technological advancements and my common sense:

  • iPads
  • The Lego Stop-Motion Movie App
  • Theme: Food!

With this in place, I barely had to help with the technical process, which left more time for me to communicate with each group about their creative process and observe their team-working skills. The app was extremely easy to use, and had some very handy features. One of my favorites was something we ended up calling the “Ghost,” a feature that leaves a ghost image of the last frame that was captured, allowing you to better control the amount of movement from frame to frame. So cool!

We spent the last day of the unit with popcorn and a premier of all of the fifth grade films (43 total!). I’m really going to miss these guys.

Here are a few:

The Wedding of Brownie and Milk

Happy Hot Dogs

The Wing Fight

See the rest of them here:


Second Grade: Interactive Chalk Drawings

How awesome are these?! My second graders had a blast creating these interactive chalk pastel drawings based on one of their favorite foods. If you’re from Ithaca or have visited Ithaca, chances are you’ve stopped by Ithaca Bakery (I hope you have!), which means you’ve seen their expansive menu. We had the pleasure of working with Sara E. Fort, a local artist who creates the beautiful chalk pastel menus for the bakery as a part of her role as the bakery’s graphic designer. Sara is so incredibly talented, and the kids loved having a “real artist” in our art room!

As much as I love the final products, my favorite part of this project was witnessing the play and imagination that went on as their food drawings came to life and they pretended to interact with the artworks. Lots of laughing, lots of chalk pastel-covered hands, and a lot of proud artists!

A big thank you to Sara for spending time with us and inspiring us through your work!

NOTE: For all the art teachers out there, I purchased Chalk Board Contact Paper and covered large pieces of cardboard. The paper went on smoothly, took the pastel quite nicely, and clean up was a breeze!

First Grade: “When I’m 100 Years Old” Self Portraits

In celebration of our upcoming 100th day of school, first graders created these portraits of a 100-year-old imagined self. We were inspired by the bittersweet photographic collection by Tom Hussey titled, ReflectionsThe photographs portray elderly individuals looking at a reflection of their younger self in a mirror. If you haven’t seen these photographs, you really need to check them out! My students responded to each image with excitement, sensitivity, empathy and endless curiosity, given the use of photoshopping techniques.

Here are some comments from the first grade artists in response to the question, “How will you have changed by the time you are 100 years old?”:

-“I’ll know everything!”

-“I’ll have grandkids…Wait…I’ll have kids AND grandkids! Oh my God!!!”

-“I’ll have so many wrinkles I’ll probably look like my dog!”

-“I’ll have glasses”

-“My head will be shiny because I’ll probably be bald”

-“I’ll know all about the world”

Thanks for stopping by Dryden Art City! Come back soon!