Norman Rockwell's process of creating an image is very similar to directing a scene in a movie. In this 2nd grade lesson, students relate Rockwell's images to the basic elements of a story including setting, character, and plot. Second graders will be using these same elements to tell their own visual story in one photograph. To inspire students, we examined the many photographs that Norman Rockwell hired as resources for his illustrations. Did you know that almost all of his paintings began as photographs?
Norman Rockwell"s Photographic Eye by NPR
Using a planning worksheet, students worked in groups of 3-4 at their table sections. A word list was provided to help choose elements for their setting, objects (to assist in storytelling), and characteristics. Groups drew a simple storyboard and a brief description explaining what will be going on in their photograph (plot).
Next week, students may need to bring objects from home to help with their storytelling or choose from available items in the art room if appropriate. Once their idea is planned, one student assigned as photographer (from each group) will use the camera app on the iPads to photograph their group in front of a green screen for a still frame photo expressing their planned story while the rest of the group pose and act as characters within the scene. An image from the internet will be saved to the iPad and used as the backdrop (setting) to replace the green screen and appear as if they are truly within their setting. Here is a great tutorial on how to use the Do Ink "Green Screen" app from a classroom teacher in Norfolk, Nebraska. Do Ink "Green Screen" will be the app we use for this project.