I teach visual art at a high school in New Haven. I teach classes which combine ninth through twelfth grade. Stop Animation attracts almost every student and is a vehicle to teach them about art, math and anatomy while enjoying themselves. The appeal of stop animation is that while you need to know the basics, everything does not have to be perfect because animated characters are often purposefully exaggerated. The course starts with students writing their own script, creating a frame-by-frame storyboard of their script and doing character sketches. A basic understanding of anatomy and underlying movement is an extended goal. Once students have a grasp of that they move from two dimensions to three dimensions by constructing a moveable model of their character and constructing an environment for their character. Once this is complete, students learn the basic camera angles and how to use a digital camera to film their own stop animation short. This unit offers a way to integrate technology and science into any art curriculum.
(Developed for Stop Animation, grades 9-12; recommended for Anatomy, Art, and Stop Animation, grades 9-12)