3D is all the rage at the moment with movie studios pushing the 3D agenda but back in the 1950's 3D didn't mean comfortable polarised glasses but rather simple cardboard glasses with one lens red and the other blue. The initial 3D wave of popularity was with the shlocky 50's B-movie monster movies. In my class we have been using a simple App called Easy 3D camera (Free) to take some interesting anaglyph photos. We created 3D photos of our monsters which we linked to our unit of work on Monsters and Mythic Creatures (Link below), unfortunately my mobile was damaged so to show what the app is capable of I've taken a few images of my Gundam figures. You can be more creative with your class but this is a great app and it's free!
The word myth comes from the Greek word 'mythos' which means 'to tell a story'. Myths are the oldest and most powerful of all story forms, they were usually passed on through spoken word as books had not yet been invented. They often carry an important message for a culture or group, their function was to explain, to teach lessons, and to entertain.
Myths are stories that give people a relationship with the universe, the passing of time, and with their environment. Some myths give the official view of creation, others are a way to explain natural events.
Every culture has its own myths that are centuries old and even now through various mediums the creatures and monsters from myths and legends emerge.
For a certain generation of people the name Ray Harryhausen is synonymous with myths and legends. the mention of his name conjures up many images of wonderful creatures. Ray Harryhausen was a legend, a genius, an artist, a filmmaker, a magician, but more than all of that he was an inspiration. His work has inspired many generations including such luminaries as James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. Harryhausen showed us that even as adults, we could play with monsters and get away with it. Harryhausen created 'Dynamation' (stop motion using silicon figures he created), the technique he used to create such matinee classics such as 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Clash of the Titans'.
Using the work of Ray Harryhausen as inspiration, we created a sequence of lesson plans for the 'Myths and Legends' unit of Literacy work. We also used the wonderful book 'Monsterology' to ground the work in information text style writing.
Below are examples of work achieved in year 6 using this sequence of lesson plans. Also in my year 2 class we modified the lesson plans and achieved great results creating an underwater mythical beast. To link with our 'Flotsam/Beside the Sea' lesson plans (check out the links below to go to those lesson plans and examples of work created).
I love picture books, they are an amazing resource as they use visuals to tell a story, as a result they are accessable to pretty much everyone. The images in picture books can use a range of media such as oil paints, acrylics, watercolor, and pencil, among others to tell their story. Over the last few years we have been spoilt for choice where picture books are concerned, with celebrated authors including Shaun Tan, Oliver Jeffers and David Wiesner. When jumping into our new topic of 'Beside the Sea' with our year 2's we chose David Wiesner's Caldecott Medal Winning book 'Flotsam' to entrance and engage our children.
Using the book as inspiration the children created their own mythical sea creature, drawing and painting them for display.
They then wrote descriptions for their creature, describing its features and key information such as what it ate, where it lived and how to befriend it.
Finally, the children created an information page, usually found in non-fiction books. The work they created was amazing and I'm sure you'll agree, very exciting!