Tag Archive for 'stop-motion-animation'

“Ae fond Click!” – using ICT tools to support classroom activities on Scotland’s Bard Robert Burns

For many Scottish schools in January there is often an emphasis in the classroom on work on the life and literature of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. The following resources provide ideas for how ICT tools can be used to provide different ways of helping to engage pupils with the study of the life and literature of Robert Burns or other Scottish literary figures. So whether it’s around the time of 25th January (the birthday of Robert Burns celebrated by Scots the world over), or notable dates in the Scottish calendar such as St Andrew’s Day (30th November) or Tartan Day in North America (6th April), the following resources may provide some ideas for using ICT tools to help provide alternative ways in engaging pupils in the sudy of Scottish literature.

Interactive Poem Writing

For use with a Smartboard Interactive whiteboard click on this link for To a mouse – interactive poem writing Smart notebook resource with audio and interactive activities to help engage pupils with the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns and then to create their own contemporary version “To a computer mouse.” If you find clicking on this link does not download the Smart Notebook file then try this: right-click on the link; then choose “Save target as” then at the end of the filename which appears add .notebook (that’s “dot” notebook); and change the filetype from zip to “all files” and finally save it to your computer. It should then open as normal.

Animation based on a poem

A popular way to engage pupils with a piece of text is for them to create an animation based on a particular poem. Click here for information on some of the many tools which can be used by pupils to create animations, which could be based on the poems, tales or songs of Robert Burns. These animations can either be created using live video footage from a webcam, or still images, or drawn on screen, or using cartoon-style images.

Creating an audio recording of a poem or song

If you’d like to record the audio of pupils reciting or singing a poem, tale or song of Robert Burns a tool which can make this process really easy to record, edit out unwanted gaps or noises, and then create an mp3 file for sharing on a school or class website or blog is Audacity. This is a free audio editing tool. Click here for more information about Audacity for use in the classroom.

Combine drawn images with pupil voice to create interactive videos

A free online tool which is ideally suited to the needs of primary schools to provide a space and the tools for pupils to record their voices along with their own drawn images to accompany their voice is Little Bird Tales. This would be suitable for younger pupils to draw the sequence of events in their chosen poem, tale or song by Robert Burns and to then record their voice reading or reciting the poem, tale or poem of Robert Burns. Click here for more information about Little Bird Tales.

Create animated video combining images, pupil voice and background music

If pupils would like to create a video with music to accompany their chosen poem or tale of Robert Burns, but they perhaps don’t have access to video but do have still images, then they can still create a video using the free Photostory 3 software. This quickly produces a video where you simply upload your chosen still images, add narration (which could be pupils reading a poem by Robert Burns), and choose music style from the bank of provided music with Photostory 3 – you can slect from a range of styles, select instruments, speed, feeling and intensity. Photostory 3 software then quickly belds it all together into a video. Click here for more information about Photostory 3.

Using video camera recordings of pupil recitations or singing

Recitation of poems or singing of the songs of Robert Burns is part of the tradition in many Scottish schools in in or around January. Making recordings of these performances by pupils can be done with Flip video cameras, or similar, of pupils reciting poems, and then these videos uploaded to the class or school blog or website. More information about Flip cameras, or similar devices, can be found by clicking here.

Creating Scottish music backing-track music for songs, recitations or videos.

There are several online music tools which pupils could use to create music to accompany songs of Robert Burns, or for creating a traditional Scottish mood music backing track for pupil-created video or perhaps a drama based on a tale by Robert Burns. Click here for tools which are music sequencers based on pupils dragging icons around the screent to choose instruments, musical phrases and sequence.  For more traditional standard music notation tools where pupils can choose instruments, click on the on-screen score and make their melody for a song, and add lyrics then click here.

Create Audio in Scots Voice from typed text

For pupils who do not wish to speak the poem aloud, or who would like to use the automatically-generated voice from typed text they can do so using Wordtalk. Wordtalk is designed to work with Microsoft Word and can produce an mp3 file from text typed into Word. WordTalk also has produced Scottish voices (called Heather and Stuart for Scottish female and male voices). So to have Word “speak” the poems of Robert Burns with a Scottish voice aloud, and from which to create an mp3 audio file click here for more information about WordTalk.

Timeline Tools

There are online tools which can be used to map the life of of Robert Burns, or to plot his journey from one part of the country to another, or to show the sequence of events on a poem, tale or song of the bard. One such tool is Dipity – click here for more information about Dipity timeline tool.

Comic-creation Tools

Many teachers like to use comic-creation tools with pupils as they often find pupils engage for longer with texts when they are creating a visual work such as a comic strip combing images with the text. Click here for more information about several comic-creation tools which could be used by pupils to sequence a poem, tale or song of Robert Burns accompanied with images.

Speaking characters from poems, tales or songs

On online tool such as Blabberize lets pupils upload images of a character from a poem, tale or song or Robert Burns, add their voice and the tool automatically creates an animated image opening and closing its mouth as the pupil’s recorded voice speaks. Click here for more information about Blabberize.

Online Resources to support teaching about the life and literature of Robert Burns

http://www.robertburns.org.uk/– a website full of resource collected by the world’s second oldest Burns Club.
http://www.burnsscotland.com/– this website holds a vast repository of resources related to the life, times and works of Robert Burns, including resources specific to each of the sites associated with the life of Robert Burns. There is also a host of resources aimed at schools for different age-groups.
http://www.burnsheritagepark.com/– this is the National Trust for Scotland’s site specific to the birthplace sites of Robert Burns. This includes the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works.

http://www.worldburnsclub.com/ norw http://www.rbwf.org.uk/ is the Robert Burns Wold Federation site. This includes a section devoted to learning resources for schools.

Education Scotland has a wealth of online resources specifically for schools about the songs, poems and life of Robert Burns.

Education Scotland also has an extensive site of resources to support teaching using Scots language. http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/knowledgeoflanguage/scots/index.asp

Scran is an online database which includes resources ralting to the life and works of Robert Burns, as well as all of the locations where he lived or visited. Click here for more information about Scran.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/ The BBC website about Robert Burns combines information about the bard and his works, as well as many audio recordings.



Scots Hoose – Skoosh – a website aimed at supporting young writers, readers and singers in the Scots language.

The above resources may provide some ideas for using ICT tools to help provide alternative ways in engaging pupils in the study of Scottish literature, and of course may also be adapted to the study of any literature.

Thanks are accorded to Stuart Lennie for the inspiration for the title of this blog post.

Rapping the News – rhyming current affairs in the classroom

http://theweekinrap.com/ is exactly what the title says!  Every week some main stories in the news from this US site are reported in rap.  The quick rhythmic rhyming delivery allied to the mix of news footage, animations and special effects in the video makes for engaging viewing.

Teachers often look to have pupils discuss current affairs in class and The Week in Rap provides one way to quickly recap what’s happened in the week past. Each video covers a week of news in just a few minutes of viewing.  Because they are retrospetive this gives teachers a chance to preview before use in the classroom to check for relevance and suitability. The site also archives each of the videos. You can also search for key words.

The text of each video is included below each video which lets teachers quickly preview the content.  This also lets pupils join in if they wish. And the rap text also contains hyperlinks on each key phrase to the stories in the news which provides more information on any of the news stories mentioned in the rap. 

The videos may also provide inspiration for ideas for pupils to create their own video presentations, whether of current affairs reported in the media, or to report on events in their own school or locality. If pupils wish to create their own multimedia presentations in a similar vein the following may be useful:

Windows Live Movie Maker, SAM Animation and Photostory 3 are three free pieces of software which pupils can use to create their own videos. For images free to use in such projects click on each link here. Pupils will probably wish to record their audio track first and Audacity is a free piece of software which lets users record and edit their audio and create a file in mp3 format which can be imported into the video before then adding the images. And if they wish to use a music backing track which is free to use click here for a number of sources of music free to use in pupil projects.

Click here for instructions for writing a rap in a classroom.

SAM Animation for creating stop-motion animations in the classroom

SAM Animation stop-motion-animation software (demo-version) from Tufts University is great to create stop-motion animations.   It has a free to download version and the SAM Animation site has online help-guides.

What is SAM Animation?

SAM Animation provides a tool for pupils to make stop-action movies using a USB camera or webcam.  SAM originally stood for “Stop-Action Movies.”

Features of SAM Animation:

Snap images from a live web-cam feed or import pictures

Add narration of import audio files

Onion-skinning for easy frame-to-frame alignment (means you can see where your previous image was)

Add text and shape overlays to each frame

Import movie files

Export your project into a variety of movie formats

Here’s a short video introduction to the free demo version of SAM Animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viLIx31Dc5A

For a range of video tutorials on using SAM Animation software in the classroom click here.

For pupil-created examples of animations created using SAM Animation, grouped according to curricular area, click here.

http://stopmotionmovies.yolasite.com/ – for a very helpful guide to creating stop-motion animations in the primary classroom. This step by step guide can be applied to other software.

Click here for a useful blog posting from the Langwitches Blog with resources and tips for using storyboarding in stop-motion animations.

ACMI has produced a free online interactive storyboard tool which would be useful for pupils planning their animations.

eMints Stop Motion Animation Made Easy from the University of Missouri is a post which provides examples of how animation creation can be incorporated in learning in a variety of curricular areas.

The Teaching Ideas site has a great collection of resources to support film-making and animation production in the classroom, including lesson plans, posters, display material and more.

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