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Claymation Rocks in 4th Grade (Literally)!

Claymation Rocks in 4th Grade (Literally)!

The study of rocks and minerals is a large part of the NC Essential Standards in Science for 4th graders.  Of course, a

An example of a student storyboard to use while shooting images

An example of a student storyboard to use while shooting images

study of rocks can’t be complete without exploring the three main categories of rock; sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.  Ms. Victoria Baxter’s 4th graders at ArtSpace researched these three categories and applied their knowledge to create claymation films about the formation of an individual rock.

Students create clay pieces to be manipulated when they start shooting their images.

Students create clay pieces to be manipulated when they start shooting their images.

The creation process required the students to work in groups assigned to a specific formation category.  They were instructed by 4th grade science and math teacher Victoria Baxter to treat the rock like a real character. Each team had to create a storyboard that included all of the character elements needed to tell the rock’s story before they could begin manipulating the clay.

When storyboards were complete students created their “characters” out of the clay and created an appropriate background for shooting their films.  Students learned quickly that 10 seconds of claymation video takes a significant amount of time to shoot.  It can’t quite be compared to the time it takes for a real rock to form but the experience of creating these videos allowed them to demonstrate a scientific process in earth science while learning a process in the technology arts.  

ArtSpace Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school serving approximately 400 elementary and middle school students in the Asheville and Buncombe County areas of North Carolina.  The ArtSpace vision is to be “a national benchmark in educational excellence through integration of the arts.”