Creativity Through Cinematography

Creativity Through Cinematography: A Stop-Motion Video by the Silicon Valley Kindergarten Class

lascuolablog Atelier, Teaching and Learning

The children in the Silicon Valley Kindergarten class, throughout the year, worked a lot with storytelling and its potential. During their third unit of Inquiry on the topic of “means of transportation,” I proposed to the students the reading of Gianni Rodari and the poems on travel by Giovannino Perdigiorno.

The adventures of this character, in fact, focus on journeys made with the most disparate means of transportation: the tram, the car, the motorbike, the elevator. Giovannino’s poem helped the children to enrich their Italian vocabulary about means of transportation, and drawing activities gave rise to several discussions on what can be considered as a means of transportation. We let children’s imagination fly free, so much so that a butterfly has even become the subject of stories and an imaginary form of transportation.

Reading these stories has given children an experience of a “fantastic hypothesis” . . . What would happen if Giovannino arrived in a country where people made out of paper live? Training the creative muscle has been the aim of these storytelling workshops – to let children’s imagination find its space and help tell their reality.

“Il mondo si può guardare a altezza d’uomo, ma anche dall’alto di una nuvola (con gli aeroplani è facile). Nella realtà si può entrare dalla finestra principale o infilarvisi – è più divertente – da un finestrino” – Gianni Rodari, Grammatica della fantasia, 1973

“You can look at the world at eye level, but also from the top of a cloud (with airplanes it’s easy). You can enter reality through the main window or slip in – it’s more fun – through a little window” – Gianni Rodari, Grammatica della fantasia, 1973

During this project, in order to enhance children’s creativity, we offered different expressive languages, such as clay manipulation and the cinematography through the stop-motion technique.

Franco, Silicon Valley student Luca’s father, came to the school to share his experience and his passion for ceramics with the children in the Atelier. The participation of our community members to Atelier activities is fundamental to us and to the Reggio Approach because the whole community plays a role in the educational project. Thanks to Franco, the Atelier turned into a clay workshop. It was an engaging experience that gave the children the opportunity to express their creativity and develop the practical skills to manipulate clay.

We then talked about animations and storytelling, introducing the stop-motion technique. Creating a stop-motion animation involves taking as many frames as the subject moves. Montage of images in sequence gives the effect of animation, which children have become passionate about. They chose to animate the story of the country of Paper Men, their favorite.

Paper is a versatile material that can be folded, cut and shaped into various forms and sizes, allowing children to explore its manipulation in creative and artistic ways. The children created the characters in the story: the striped men, the checked men, the cardboard man, the tissue paper dancer girl and finally, our little Giovanni. The preparation of this stop-motion video made us appreciate and understand the properties of paper and the different types: tissue paper, for example, seems perfect for a ballerina who moves gracefully; cardboard is the ideal material to represent a strong character. You are able to watch it here.

The greatest benefit of the ateliers for La Scuola students is that they provide them ample space to develop their ideas and become confident in tackling the unknown. Learn more about the magic of La Scuola.

Written by Silvia Ianniciello, Atelierista at our Silicon Valley Campus

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