Children's Museum of Art NYC – Valerie Kharchenko –  8.5 hours

This week I started working in the Exploring Media Lab. The class is aiming to teach 5-6 year olds the basics in creating a stop motion animation. I am working with two teacher, Ian and Ana, and one helper, Jane. I was a little nervous to start the class, not knowing how the kids would tackle the idea of animation, which I personally know nothing about. Before the class started, all the teachers prepared everything and talked about what we would be doing in class that day. I was in charge of setting out personal sketchbooks for each student. As we were doing this, the first student arrived. He was so excited she got his sketchbook and immediately started drawing in it. Seeing him so excited definitely eased my nerves about the class. We started out the class with a little drawing challenge. The challenge was to draw the biggest sandwich with as many things on it that you could think of. After about 10 minutes we had who ever wanted to share their drawings come up to the front of the class to show everyone. We then dove into explained what a story was. Ian started with explaining characters. Ian had the students name characters and explain their characteristics. The students then were assigned to draw their own characters. Then I was in charge of leading the discussion on the background of stories. I started out by asking if anyone knew what the background of a story was, and to my surprise, the kids started saying things about what they knew about backgrounds. We made of a list of different examples of backgrounds in stories and then I assigned the kids to draw a background for the character they just drew. Then Ana took over and explained what a storyline is and how conflict works in stories. After the lessons on basics of storytelling, Jane showed the class a stop motion animation that she had collaborated on in a class she had taken at the museum. The kids were very excited that they would be able to create something similar to Jane. By this time, time had flown by, and it was time for everyone to go home. I’m really excited about this class. All the kids are so creative and have great energy.

 I also had my second week of sitting in with YAK. This week in YAK, Camilo and Larissa introduced a new project that the kids would be working. The company Saatchi & Saatchi is having The Children’s Museum of the Arts do a show for one of their galleries. So the students in YAK have been assigned to create two light box displays. There will be a gallery opening as well. So because of this great opportunity, the kids were told to experiment and brains storm ideas for what can be done for the final presentation. We supplied the kids with all sorts of different materials and had light box set out for trialing different things. The rest of the class was just free studio time for the kids.