Teaching Animation for Social Action

The final project in the Corcoran’s Digital Media for Art Educators course this fall was to create a digital tool for teaching art.   The tool I propose using here is using Digital Animation.  The Context is to teach/use Digital Animation an an integrated part of a 10th grade curriculum on civil rights and the relationship of people, their representatives and the political process.  The Art component focuses on developing additional skill sets to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas.  The object is to help students find their voice for affecting political or social change and to create safe spaces for social expression.

The following basic power point is a Social Action Unit, containing four separate lessons.

social action animation

1. Thinking

2. Traditional Media for Social Action

3.  New Media for Social Action

4.  Photojournalism

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The Digital Media tool is taught in Lesson number 3: New Media for Social Action

This class comes after classes in the art room and history class room about social engagement, protest and activism.  By the time students reach Lesson 3, they will have identified a few issues that they care about or things they would like to see celebrated or changed.  They will also have created posters or signs on a political or social theme and they will have engaged in an advocacy writing project in their social studies class.  (A specific theme or idea may be presented in collaboration between the art and social studies teachers).   Thus, by Lesson number 3, students will be asked to think about how to convey their advocacy through a short (15-30 second) animation project.   This will be a 3 day, 45 minute project.  In the first class, the animation tool Animation Creator will be introduced.  The teacher will show a video short from of her own with an example of how the program can be used for political express or protest:

GWU-Corcoran Merger http://youtu.be/NdRZ4Y2SxGI

Then the teacher will do a live demonstration of how to use Animation Creator on an iPad.  This animation will be very basic and show how to use the tools of the program to draw, to go back, to correct, to create a background, then how to create duplicate frames and manage frames, then how to use these tools to create movement and manage the speed of movement.  The first class will be used for this general introduction and some basic noodling around.  The second and third class relating to this lesson will be for each student to create a 15-30 second animation which makes an advocacy point or a statement about an issue chosen by the class or the student.  At the end of the third class.  At the beginning of a fourth class, the class will view all of the videos and assess the effectiveness of the animation in communicating a point of view, as well as the aesthetic features of the video.

The Fourth Lesson in the Unit will focus on photojournalism and will be a collaboration between the social studies teacher and the art teacher.  This collaborative project will  be designed for students to engage in in-depth investigation and reporting on issues raised in their social studies units.

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