Recently, my students and I were fortunate enough to connect with Hue and try out their HD document camera and stop motion animation kit. Before our exploration of this new tool, I knew nothing about stop animation other than what it actually was. I had no idea how the motion films were created, how exciting it was to create films using stop animation, or what all went into creating such a project. Was it hard? Easy? Could this be something that my 5th graders could do without me?
When our kit came in, I opened it up and installed the software super quick. I love how easy it is to plug the camera in the laptop. This means that we can take the camera and laptop anywhere in the room, building, or school with no problem! I played around with it at home just to feel comfortable enough to show my kiddos how to run everything, and then I brainstormed a list of ways that we could use this tool in the classroom.
*Content specific short films
*Student modeling of understanding/explanation
*The list could go on and on......
The kit not only came with the document camera ,but it also came with an idea book that showed different types of stop animation film ideas. We spent our first class period just watching the example animation films included in the software and reading through the guide book. The students selected which types of stop animation were their favorite (talking fruit, grass skating, sticky notes, etc.), and we voted on which version we would attempt first.
After showing the kiddos the basics of the program and the camera, we split into teams. 5 teams were in charge of graphics. One team was the production crew, another was in charge of music, and
the last was the tech crew.
Even though this was our first time doing anything like this, I put the kiddos completely in control. I didn't help with the ideas, make big suggestions, or even select the music. EVERYTHING was done by my kiddos, and it only took two days(one day for exploring and brainstorming and one day for creating).
The students worked amazingly with the Hue HD camera, the software, and the whole project in general. They were begging for more, but school ends tomorrow! They asked if they could come back and train next year's class! Of course! I think that would be neat.
Here is the video that the kiddos made. For their first time, I was really impressed. Yes, there are a few grammatical errors, BUT it is a student project led by students. Bringing this new document camera and stop animation software into our class has really helped me see all of the different directions that we can go with our Hue HD document camera in the future!