The students had to read the chapters again and again to find the details they needed for their movies!

Each group had to summarize two chapters into 30 - 60 seconds of video.  They had to think hard to decide what scene was most important to tell the story!

Student groups worked together to make sure all of the movies created a cohesive summary of the book.  The character Little Man was used throughout the scenes so the students decided that one person would create the clay puppet and all of the groups would share so that Little Man looked the same in all of the scenes.

Students brought props from home to add details to their movies.

Students wrote a summary narration for each movie and recorded themselves reading this narration.  This was added in the video editing stage.

As students created their movies they also wrote "the making of" reports on the process. Read them here!

4th/5th Grade Classroom
Mueller Elementary School
Instructors: Beth Adamson, Tonya Witherspoon
Spring 2002

Roll of Thunder,
Hear My Cry

By: Mildred D. Taylor

Mrs. Adamson's 4/5 class at Mueller Elementary School studied the book, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Students split into six groups; each group taking two chapters of the book.  Their goal was to re-tell the story in clay animation.  After a discussion about stop motion animation and how many frames it would take to create one second of video (12 frames) and how many pictures that would add up to if they wanted thirty second videos (at least 360) the class began brainstorming.

Each group created:

  • Storyboards
  • Sets
  • Characters
  • Narration
  • "The Making Of" Report

See the movies!

Would you like to know more about the clay animation process and what we learned?

Read our behind the scenes, "The Making Of" reports written by each student group.

Brainstorming... Students created storyboards on paper to show the action they planned for their movies.  The also made a list of characters, sets, and props they would need.

Building the Sets... Each group of students got one tri-fold piece of cardboard.  They covered the cardboard with paper. Students drew, painted, and colored a background on each side of the cardboard.  This allowed each group to have two sets for their movies.

Creating the Clay Puppets... Students created armatures out of pipe cleaners, styrofoam balls, and aluminum foil.  Van Aken clay was used to cover the armatures.  Magnets were sculpted into each characters feet for stability.  The set had a metal floor so that the magnets would help hold the characters upright.

Animating... This classroom project was completed with one desktop computer and one webcam.  Student groups took turns shooting their animation frames. The students used Stop Motion Animator (SMA) software to capture their animation frames.

Video Editing... After each scene was filmed the students edited out any shots with hands, added narration and sound effects, and put the scenes together to create their final movies.  Students used a lapel microphone and Windows Sound Sound Recorder to record their narration.  We used Video Framer to edit the video together.


Last Update: 06/02/2003
(c) 2003