Everyone was keen to get started on the task for the morning, which was to record a sequence either drawing or action which the children had planned with the teacher since our last session.
However before we began, I showed the children a short video found on the internet of South African Artist, William Kentridge, explaining how he had made his drawing animations. The children were very attentive and enjoyed seeing this.
The children worked in two groups, one outside with Miss Fanthorpe and their ideas was a football action sequence and a version of the Haka, while I worked with a group inside the classroom and their idea was to draw a clock.
We realized that we had to organize ourselves to know who was doing what and that part of the project meant that some people would be waiting their turn to do the drawing or action, photographing the sequence in turns or documenting the process. So here are a few of the pictures from the day:
seeing how the camera works on the tripod
We made sure everyone got to work the camera!
For the team working inside, we set up a page over the whiteboard and set our camera on a tripod to get ready to photograph each stage of the drawing of a clock face.
Once the sequences both inside and outside were shot, we regrouped again in the classroom and reported back what had happened. The children said they realised that the sequences took a lot longer to shoot (more stages necessary than they had imagined) and that particularly with the action sequence, it was really hard to do an action slowly or to hold an action while it was being photographed!
Miss Fanthorpe invited the children to refresh how a short movie could be made in Moviemaker. So the actions necessary were shown to the class, by some children coming up to the whiteboard and going through the process.
There were plenty of helpers to do this! I was very impressed that the children could remember all the sequences to do this.I certainly learned from listening and watching!
A strange thing happened that day in that school dinner time came early (because of a sports day that had to be rescheduled). It meant that our session was cut a bit shorter. However we all agreed that we would resume after lunch and I suggested to Miss Fanthorpe that the children could try a last drawing activity to try and capture movement in another way by sketching quickly…..
So after dinner break I showed the children some more sketches from my sketchbook which I had used the day before on a train from Belfast to Lurgan. Also I reminded them of my sketches made at airports in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec when travelling in Canada.
I spoke to the children about working quickly and capturing shape and sense of movement. These sketches were made fast as people passed by with their bags and luggage at an airport.
And this that was made from the train passing through the city.
I thought it was important that the children see how you can capture a sense of something, by working quickly and that the children see the sketches as a little messy, unfinished, loose and scribbly…….. that it is a way of recording and collecting ideas and images and encourages us to look closer…..
We couldn’t wait to get outside again and settle to draw….
Look at the concentration, everyone is very engaged in the task!
There were fantastic drawings made by the children while observing the younger children on their sports day!
One thing I didn’t mention was that the wind that day was fierce and the children did well to sit there in the balmy weather and sketch. Miceal was sketching on the grass which has been newly cut and the grass cuttings were flying everywhere. He called me over to see another way to witness movement and change as he laid his sketchbook down on the grass and the cuttings flew everywhere!!!
sketchbook and grass cuttings
Miceal was very excited to see more cuttings on his drawing that the wind would blow away and the other children tried this too.
Here’s some sketches with real blossoms and leaves….
I told the children that I had seen on the internet a short sequence of the work of William Kentridge again, who had actually made an animation using small fragments of paper which were blown and scattered across the surface of a large piece of paper. Have a look at this wonderful clip of the artist in his studio. Scroll the link and open it:
Here’s a few more pictures of the sketching. It was a great burst of activity and captured so well by the children.
Everyone seemed to enjoy their sketching. It was a lovely end to a very special project.
Once we finished our sketching we returned to the classroom and I reminded the children again of the quick sketches I had made, so they could see how similar their own sketches were in nature!
I think it was very important to show the scribbly and fast work I had done and to say a big thank you for all the wonderful efforts by the children with this activity, observing, recording and documenting.
Thank you class P5 for your warmth and welcome every time online and real visits and a very big thank you to Miss Fanthorpe also for the great work enabling it all to happen. It was a great pleasure to work with both Miss Fanthorpe this term and Miss O’Sullivan last term. Hope everyone has happy enjoyable summer!