The BLC team were initially brought into the school with the aim of curbing classroom disruption and to provide engaging activities for the children that would help disruptive children to participate more positively in the classroom. In initial discussions with staff at the school the concept of an ongoing project centred around the class’s main topic of “Myths and Legends” was devised in order to augment the existing school curriculum rather than to act as a bolt-on addition to it. The team were confident that the use of an extended project would help to maintain the engagement of the children over a number of weeks and help serve as an incentive for them to maintain focus on the days and that BLC were not in school. The staff were informed of the various products that could be used to enhance the project and were excited to be bringing new, exciting pieces of kit into the classroom.
The two products chosen to focus on were the StoryStarter and WeDo 2.0 kits, both from Lego Education. The team and staff saw the benefits of utilising both in order to develop a wide range of digital and key skills that would serve to create a good base of knowledge for the children that could be expanded on in the future. The project was designed to allow the children to create their own mythical creature using WeDo and then a stop-motion animation of a myth or legend featuring it using the StoryStarter kit. It was also decided that the children would track their own progress through the creation of iBooks on their class iPads, which would serve as evidence of their work. This was to be properly designated as an important role within the team so it was not forgotten about in the excitement of the project.
The project began with a series of introductory sessions that were designed to develop confidence using the products and to build relationships between the trainers and students. The classes were split up into groups that they work with on a regular basis in class which helped to reduce disruption in the first “settling in” phase of the project. The introductory WeDo session focused on building and programming the simple “Milo” robot to acquaint the pupils with the set and the programming software. The StoryStarter session was focussed on again acquainting the pupils with the set and the various pieces that would be available to them in creating their stories and also to introduce the app that they would be using to create their animation, Stop Motion Studio. The groups were asked to pick a random character, setting and object from a hat and then create a short animation using all three things. Both sessions finished with a period of presentations to allow the BLC team to monitor whether the class was sufficiently equipped to progress with the project and so the pupils could learn from the positive and negative aspects of their peers work.
Once they had finished creating and developing their creatures the pupils began animating their myths and legends. They had properly planned and story-boarded them in class which meant that they had a good idea of what they were building and this helped them to stay on track, as it was often found that the more simple ideas were the best as complex stories and scenes could often become overwhelming. It was decided that the myths would follow the basic storyline of “Krakus and the Dragon”, a Polish myth that the pupils had extensively covered in class, which gave them a good basis that they could adapt to their creatures and characters.
Focussing a separate lesson on each part of the myth: a beginning, middle and end, the pupils were able to talk their time with each scene to ensure the quality of the animation itself. The BLC showed them how they could best create their animations by making sure that the scene itself and the iPad being used for animation did not move extensively between shots, to ensure a smooth and realistic animation. We aimed to showcase some animations at the end of each session so that the pupils could see how other were progressing and see what they did well and what could be improved. The Apple TVs were also useful to be able to quickly show pupils work that we thought was exceptional during the session.
After completing their animations it was time to add narration and dialogue. During the week the pupils worked on scripts that they would use for their animations, and so when it came time to narrate them they were fully prepared. The team showed the pupils how to import their animations to iMovie and explained the main features that would allow them to add: voices, opening and closing titles, music and sound effects.
Pupil Dinas Powys Primary
“The project was amazing, I’ve never done anything like it before”
Pupil Dinas Powys Primary
“This project has definitely made coming to school more fun and it made me work a lot harder”
If you would like to discuss your project, or have any other questions, then get in touch with a member of our team, who would be happy to help.