During the 2 weeks around Christmas and then New Years the before and after school program where I work kicks in to high gear. The children and teachers can spend 10+ hours together. Being in Northern Illinois we have a limitation of using the outdoors as a major part of our day, so, we try to keep the children busy and happy, indoors. Technology is a huge part of the children's joy. They have their own DS's, Ipod, and the Director purchased 3 Wii's. They use one of the Centers laptop and I bring in mine. There will be a holiday show in January and it came to me to have the children sing "We Are The World". The Director suggested we could do it as a film because the children enjoyed the filmed play we did in the summer. I decided to have the children take a portrait of everyone in the Center (we have infants too) and then we could intersperse song with quick flashes of portraits. Two of the oldest girls (12 yrs old) came back from taking all the portraits when age appropriate giddiness led to the camera dropping and BAM in a heartbeat it was broken and the project was stalled (the portraits were fine and off loaded). Meanwhile, to the left of me sat one of the oldest middle school boys, he had taken it upon himself to take out the box of play dough and had made the coolest character, A very unlikely medium for someone of his age but I was over the top at his creativity. While I sat there trying to press every button in combination to fix the broken borrowed camera I asked the young man if he wanted to make some claymation? We both dove into the project, me only barely instructing him, he did everything! I had my little Nikon snap and shoot and that's what he used to take the stills. Neither of us had ever created claymation. He created his backdrop after Van Gogh's Starry Night. It turned out to be a space scene with a rocket ship that took off at the end. It's amazing how short a time he completed this great piece. (Only thing we have to figure out is how to speed up the scenes...)
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