Saturday, 12 May 2012

You need hands...

As this is our last term, it has been tricky to fit extended projects into out somewhat disrupted timetable.  Amongst other things we have several visits, transition days, a playground to paint, three walls to spray graffiti on, a major valedictory production at the Tattersalls show ring in Newmarket, SATs ... you get the picture. So once again we have a project which consists of three, linked, two-hour sessions in Media, Art and Design.
The main problem  was the theme.  It needed to be something to do with change. The Beatles "Hello Goodbye" kept running through my head. Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions was lurking in there somewhere too. Driving out of school gate on the evening before I was to meet the MAD team and explain the next unit of work, still with only the vaguest of ideas, I waved to Myles our young caretaker. Driving down the road humming "Hello Goodbye" I realised with a small shock that I had greeted him with exactly the same gesture that morning.
We wave hello and goodbye. More formally we shake hands in greeting and valediction. So it seemed that once again my "tortoise mind" had been busy. I don't believe it's sensible to prepare detailed plans for other people to teach creative subjects. Especially when the teachers I'm working with are at least as experienced as I am. I'd much rather try to inspire and challenge them to produce a project that worked for them. So I asked Tim Young to come up with a design for a waving hand. A few hours later this prototype appeared:

He has been muttering (darkly) about possibly using them as Black Theatre effects at the Tattersalls performance...
There were so many possibilities for Art I simply grabbed a folder full of beautiful hand images and made a SlideRocket presentation.  I'd post it here but it's full of copyright images. Most Students seem to have chosen to create Mendhi designs.
In media I offered two options:
1.    Create a "Hand of Kindness" "collage with Paint.NET about the things they care for. I provided them with a transparent hand image to create the final layer

2.     Make a realistic hand animation
I created a hand figure for Pivot and attached it to my micro-site for students to download. I copied a skeletal hand as carefully as I could using pivots figure creator. The thumb was the most difficult to get right though I'm still not sure why. I asked them to study the movement of their own hands to give their animations a realistic appearance. My example is below.
Interestingly, with Year 6, there was a complete boy/girl split with boys choosing to animate and the girls to collage.