LEVEL III-ART LESSON 13: LET’S MAKE A MOVIE!
Making movies, from scenario to storyboarding to final video
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 5 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
The creation of this lesson began with a phone call from the Asia Educational Resource Consortium inviting us to lead plenary sessions at a Family Education Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Conference coordinators asked for four lecture/workshops, but they specified only one topic: they wanted a session that would teach people how to make stop-action movies.
We love making stop-action movies and make them for video birthday cards, for information, and for just plain fun. But we had no idea how much fun the people in Chiang Mai would have at the movie-making workshop. They enjoyed the process so much we decided we just HAD to make a lesson on stop-action movies so everybody could have this kind of fun!
The art lesson begins by providing students with a short scenario. Students use the scenario to create:
- A storyboard,
- Puppets, and
- A video.
Along the way they learn a lot about
- What makes a story interesting and
- How to work together effectively in a group.
By the end of the lesson kids will have learned a process and discovered resources to make more sophisticated stop-action movies.
This lesson includes a VIDEO version of the lesson plus a downloadable printout of a storyboard.
List of Supplies for Each Movie-making Group:
- 1 5’ long sheet of kraft paper
- 3 sheets of blank printer paper
- 1 piece of stiff white paper
- 5 “storyboard” sheets (this is included in the lesson)
- 1 set of washable colored markers
- 1 charcoal stick or some dark colored chalk pastels
- 1 pen or pencil
- 1 fine tipped permanent black marker
- 1 scissors
- Tape - masking tape or other tape
- Thin string (sewing thread is the best)
- 1 cell phone or other device w/ video capabilities
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
Find more scenarios to start a new movie-making project with these resources:
- Find ideas for building a wide variety of puppets in Animation Lab for Kids: Fun Projects for Visual Storytelling and Making Art Move by Laura Bellmont and Emily Brink.
- The book, Making Puppets Come Alive, by Larry Engler and Carol Figan, has scenarios similar to the ones in the lesson.
- Make a movie based on a poem that tells a story. Mother Goose rhymes are some of the simplest poems of this sort.
- Twenty-two Splendid Tales to Tell, by Pleasant DeSpain, has short stories from around the world. They are easy to tell and would make good foundations for more complex movie stories.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Lesson:
- Planning the movie: 45 minutes
- Creating puppets and background: 20 minutes
- Shooting the video: 30 minutes
- Editing the video: this depends on how sophisticated you want the movie to be.