slopbrush.pngYou know, that’s when you assign human qualities to animals or inanimate objects. Of course, you should never anthropomorphize computers because THEY really HATE it when we do that to THEM. Yeah, I get that same groan when I crack that joke in person. But this can really be a fun way for students to tell stories. Think of the gnome in the travel commercials or the gekko selling insurance. And if that’s too much of a stretch for you, consider a fifth grade art class in my home town.

I had to go to Schaumburg’s Screen Test Student Fest a couple of suburbs over last winter to meet those neighborhood art students myself. “Young Sloppy Brush” beat out a number of videos by high school students to take the grand prize. And their notoriety hasn’t stopped yet. Last night the video was shown at the The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. At the end of November, he will be getting his passport stamped and appear at the Kids for Kids Festival in Naples, Italy.

What thing could your students anthropomorphize that would breath some life into what they are learning?


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  1. Tim Childers said:

    Joe, I’m working a couple of 6th grade students who want to make an animated video to explain least common multiple for a math class. They are really excited about the prospect. They are writing their script, putting together the storyboards, and then taking pictures to make their super hero characters come to life. While they may not be going to Naples, Italy, they are having a fantastic time on this project. Thanks for inspiring me to do more with video in the classroom!

  2. Tricia Fuglestad said:

    Thanks Joe for writing this blog. It was so fun to watch “Young Sloppy Brush” on the big screen and hear a live audience full of children laughing at all the right times:) I’m so excited to see a classroom story project leave the classroom and find an authentic audience. Long live the brush!

  3. Joe Brennan said:

    Tim, Can we see your students’ work?

    Tricia, congratulations! There’s nothing like an authentic audience to raise the bar.

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