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Keywords: Idioms, claymation, animation, ENGLISH
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Technology, Social Skills, Music, Photography, Information Skills
Grades 4 through 6
School: Goshen Middle School, Goshen , OH
Planned By: Teke
Original Author: Teke, Goshen

Clay Animation Lesson Plan

Anticipatory Set: Students view either Gumby or Wallace and Gromit to gain interest.

Background Knowledge: Students go to the computer lab and use the Internet to learn information about the history of clay animation, what steps to take to make their own videos, and careers in animation.


Materials: various colors of non-hardening clay, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, construction paper for set design, digital camera (still photos), iphoto, imovie, and Quicktime

Objective: Students understand figurative language through animation. (The movies are of the literal meanings.)

1. Students are placed into groups of 4 and are allowed to choose from various figures of speech.
2. Story boards are then constructed as a guide. Teacher checked.
3. Clay figures are assembled and set construction takes place. Teacher checked.
4. Students set up set and place clay figures in desired location.
5. Snap the picture and then bend character to show a subtle movement. Snap another digital picture. Continue to make subtle movements and snapping pictures until you have completely shown the literal meaning of the idiom.
6. Students then download pictures to iphoto and create a subfolder.
7. Next, open imovie and place photos into the desired location. Save into Extra Applications folder.
8. Once photos are placed, students add title and credit slides. Save again.
9. Then students have the option to either add voice to their movie or simply type in the story. They may also choose to add royalty free music/sound effects. Save.
10. Once teams are satisfied, then we export the imovie to Quicktime. Save in the Extra Applications folder.
11. Finally, we view the videos and have a guessing game about the identity of the idiom/figure of speech. First, the literal meaning and then we discuss the inferential meaning in context.
12. The last day of school we watch Chicken Run or James and the Giant Peach to give the students a true appreciation of the challenges those creators faced while making the longer animations.

Evaluation: Rubric for group work and for the actual animation.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This can be used to show mastery of any science, math, or social studies skills.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Slideshow, Worksheets, Timeline, Video Editing, English and Language Arts, xD Memory Cards, Digital Voice Recorders, Batteries
Other Items: 6 Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital Elph Camera, $ 116 each, total of $696.00
6 SD 1 gigabite cards, $ 20 each, total of $120.00