Lesson Instructions | About Ruben Moreno
Teacher's Guide for Geo-Vistas
In Animating Art, artist/instructor Ruben Moreno takes students on a quick trip through movie-making history and then shows them how they can make their own animations by creating zoetropes. Children will expand their understanding of how film replicates motion and see how movie-making combines science, technology, and art.
Students will learn the basics of animation and cinematic motion through building the zoetrope. The emphasis will be on understanding and using the scientific concepts of the phi phenomenon and "persistence of vision" to make an animated strip. Students will learn about the history of animated images and the connection between their animated strips and the process used to develop "movies" through animated cartoons.
The initial activity takes students 30 minutes to one hour to complete. Allow at least another hour for students to create their own picture strips.
Skills developed by the lesson include visual thinking, measuring, cutting, building, and drawing. The lesson is not about being a "good" artist: Anyone can learn to make a series of images appear to move. Students will learn how to transfer their still images into moving images and to transform their visual images into a series of other moving images.
Animating Art will help students understand light, vision, and film motion as well as how to use visual thinking to build a sequence of images.
Related Artists/Art Works
Connections to Educational Standards
The following concepts and skills are used in the process of creating zoetropes:
In lieu of the black poster board, you can use white poster board and black (matte) poster paint.
Vocabulary Used in the Lesson
Before beginning the lesson, make two copies of the horse figure panels on page 38 for each child and one copy of the blank panels (page 39). (Download the Art On-Air Teacher's Guide to get these pages.) You also may want to use a compass to pre-draw 5-3/4" circles on poster board for the children. (Ruben usually cuts the board into pieces, with one circle on a piece, and allows students to cut out the circles themselves.) To provide a mount for the panels, pre-cut the poster board into 3" x 18" strips.
Then instruct the children in the following process:
Response to Art
Before the students make their original animation drawings but after they create the zoetropes using the riding figures, discuss what animators need to know in order to draw successful animations. What makes the horse look as though it is really moving? How can students analyze motion in order to create a natural-looking effect?
To display your group's animations, collect all the available turntable record players from your media center and/or bring in record turntables from home. Use the moving turntables as portable display stands for your students' work. If you don't have enough to display all the zoetropes, display them on an alternating basis.
Other related projects include making flip books, thanumatropes (a flat disk with pictures on either side that is suspended with string and then spun), and phenaskistoscopes (a wheel of images constructed like a top).
Lafe, Locke. Film Animation Techniques: A Beginner's Guide and Handbook. White Hall, VA: Betterway Publications, Inc., 1992. (ISBN 1-55870-236-9)
Laybourne, Kit. The Animation Book. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1979. (ISBN 0-517-52946-7)
Wenz, Bob. Paper Movie Machines. San Francisco: Troubadour Press, 1975.
Last Updated: Monday, 29-Dec-2008 15:23:24 EST