This semester I am participating in a project meshing the MyCreate application and LEGO StoryStarters, at Montlieu Academy of Technology. I am working with a first grade student at Montlieu. We will be creating a story, modeling it with the LEGO StoryStarters, and then creating a MyCreate video.
In our first meeting together, I introduced the MyCreate application to my student and discussed the project that we would be working on over the next few weeks. She was very excited to use the application and had a lot of fun playing around with its features. We practiced taking pictures of items, moving them a little bit at a time, so that they would come together to appear as if the items were moving. We also practiced recording our voices over the images we took. When we finalize the project the student will have to move the LEGOs a little bit at a time and record their voice telling the story. This first meeting was a good introduction for what is to come.
The next meeting, my student and I read a few books and discussed the key features in the stories, such as characters, setting, and plot. For this project my student will be working with another students, who is in Kindergarten. This meeting was meaningful, because they were able to meet and work together to discuss the key parts of the story. This was the precursor to the collaboration they will be doing to create their story.
The following meetings, we began discussion about the story that she will be creating. We first established who the main character would be and where the story would take place. My student wanted to make a story about a cowgirl and her horse. After discussing some detail about her character and the setting, she drew a picture of the character and the setting. Since the character and the setting have been selected, the next step is to create the plot. Before my student began to write her plot, we took some time to discuss what goes into creating a plot. We read a few stories and picked out the beginning, middle, and end of the story. This helped to set up for next week when we will be creating the plot for her story.
At the rest of the meetings, we began to create our plot and develop the story. To start off the first meeting on creating our plot, we examined a picture and discussed what might be happening in the beginning middle and end. The picture was of three bears dancing around a tree. I had my student tell me a story of what she thought was happening and then when she was done we discussed what parts were the beginning, middle, and end; to reference the previous lesson. We then began to make a story involving the character of a cowgirl and her horse. We also added in a princess and her horse to the story to include the character that he Kindergarten student wanted. We discussed what would happen first in the story, and so on. As we discussed a problem that the characters would face and the solution, the story began to develop.
In the story, the cowgirl and princess were friends and decided to go ride their horses. When the were out riding the princess saw a snake and it gave her a fright. Then the cowgirl came to her rescue and they defeated the snake and the others that came along. At the end of the story, the cowgirl and princess returned home and had a dance party. My first grade student worked really hard to create her story and was really proud of her work. In the following meetings, we will be working on practicing filming drawings of the story.
Now that the story has been created it is time to work on planning what it might look like when we build with the LEGO StoryStarters kit. In this meeting, we took sheets of paper that had lines of the story printed on them and drew what we thought the scene might look like. This was to help us practice how we might build the scene with the LEGOs. This was a really fun day, and my student really enjoyed making the story come to life in her drawings. Next we took pictures of our drawings using the MyCreate application and began to turn our drawings in to moving pictures. My student got a little frustrated when taking pictures of the drawings, because she did not fully understand that you had to take multiple pictures of the drawings (moving them a little each time) to make it look like they were moving. When we went to do a voice over she realized that we needed more slides, because the story was longer than the amount of pictures we took. So to help with this we copied the pictures several times to help make the video stretch out to match the voice over of the story. When we were done making the video she thought it was really cool and made her really excited.
The next meeting was supposed to be at High Point University, where the students were coming to build their LEGO stories and film them using MyCreate. First graders were on a field trip that day and were unable to come to complete the final project. Since my student was not there and the Kindergartner that was working with us could not do the project alone, we joined another group. It was interesting to see what the other group was working on and I enjoyed being able to help in their group. However, because one of their students was in first grade also there were a lot of HPU students helping these students make their project. Therefore, I was mainly there for support and helped a little. I would have liked my student to have been there and able to participate, and sad that she worked so hard on the project and was unable to have the fun experience of coming to HPU. This was an interesting project and I was glad to be able to participate in working with the students on this activity. In the future, I suggest that this project be done with grades 3-5, because it was difficult to explain some of the aspects of this project to the younger students; and they did not quite understand what we were working on other than making a story.
[Untitled Photograph of MyCreate App]. (2013). Retrieved: October 28, 2013.