Friday, 12 April 2013

Inanimate Alice: Synthesizing a New Episode!

There is a truly intriguing on line narrative called Inanimate Alice. It combines text with media (sound effects, music, images, games). We have watched the first 4 episodes as part of our narrative unit in literacy, focusing on the higher order thinking skill of SYNTHESIS.

SYNTHESIS is the ability to create, invent, compose, predict, plan, construct, design, imagine, propose and devise.

As students watched each episode, they completed an accompanying task, such as 'make a deep connection to the episode and provide proof', or 'explain how the media used (such as music or images) impact the mood', or 'make predictions about what will happen next', etc.

Now that we have finished watching all 4 episodes, students are being asked to DESIGN a new episode (in other words, synthesize their learning by combing elements and creating something new). Students have been given a choice in the method of their design: they can draw it in comic format, create it as a comic in, write it as a narrative, write it as a script, or create it using a tech format (prezi, powerpoint).

The criteria for their differing approaches remain the same. They are being asked to:

-refernence and/or include plot elements from previous episodes in a sensible manner
-reference and/or include characters from previous episodes in a sensible manner
-create a new setting that makes sense within the Inanimate Alice storyline
-create a new problem for Alice to solve
-create a solution for the problem that makes sense
-include ideas for media-such as music, sound effects, games, images, etc. that enhances the text

I happened to mention our Inanimate Alice project via Twitter--and Inanimate Alice wrote me via Twitter, indicating that they would love to see our finished producs! So I will eventually post many of them on our class blog to show them off!

Student episodes are due APRIL 22nd (Monday).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Frames 4 Animation Software

We are starting to explore Frames 4 animation software which is available on the school laptops. We will be using this software to create short media narratives.

To jump start creativity, I thought I would showcase here a few animations created last year in my Gr 7/8 class using this software. These were not meant to be narratives (I no longer have copies of the finished narratives, unfortunately). With these slides, students were just 'giving the program a try'--in particular, I asked students to create a couple of slides, to prove they knew how to make a simple animation--some students really came up with awesome beginning clips. All of these could easily go on to be narratives.