This comes via my inspirational friend, Gail Desler, who worked with elementary students on a project around tolerance using Voicethread. I love her narrative, as it gives a great overview of the work and rationale behind the work of the students.
Most of my claymation groups rushed to complete their movie projects yesterday. I wish they didn’t feel so rushed but the school year ends in a few days and those days are jammed with activities. The task before the students: create a claymation movie around the theme of tolerance (related to our literature readings of Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry and Watsons Go to Birmingham).
A few of the groups really got it while some others … not so much. A few of the groups of boys got so into using clay that they lost track of their story idea, and so the movies were more slapstick comedy than development of story. Claymation can really engage students, but it can be difficult to keep some of them on track. Plus, claymation requires the art of patience, which is difficult at the end of the school year to maintain.
But here are a few of the movies to share out (maybe more next week):
My class is finishing up reading either The Watsons Go to Birmingham or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and I have been on the search for a good end-of-novel project. Both books revolve around racism and how families cope (or don’t) with the times they are living in. We’ve had some real powerful discussions about racism of the past and racism of the present.
I found this video this morning and it is perfect for what we have been talking about.
The movie is part of the Media that Matters Film site, which seems like a great resource. I downloaded the activity/discussion guide but I need time to look it over. We did watch the beginning of Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls (the inspiration for the Watsons book) and it was powerful … a bit too much. A few kids went home really shaken. That emotional response allowed us to have more discussions about our country’s past and how far we have come.
Meanwhile, I think we may move into creating Claymation movies that address the bigger idea of tolerance for a final project that will just about wrap up our school year (we go until June 25 this year due to ice and snow this past winter). I just worry about having enough time …