Rick Wilson, a fifth-grade teacher at Mesquite Elementary School in Casa Grande Elementary School District, has been awarded the AZEdNews Classroom Grant sponsored by Davidson/Belluso for his stop-motion video initiative for students.
“Every year I write a classroom novel,” Wilson said. Students assist in creating characters and storylines, and then transform the novel into stop-motion videos using clay and Legos.
Video: Teacher Rick Wilson shares how he’ll use the AZEdNews Classroom Grant sponsored by Davidson/Belluso
“Last year, because of COVID, we only got a 168-page novel. The year before that we wrote a 190-page novel,” said Wilson.
Wilson said the use of stop-motion videos is important for “higher order thinking, because they can do and film everything.”
“It also helped to create togetherness, which was missing because of online school,” Wilson said, adding that the stop-motion videos encourage students to return to class in order to complete the project.
“My students are from a Title I school,” said Wilson. “They don’t have the advantages that other students have, which makes the stop-motion video material more important for them.”
“We work to improve our community, which includes education,” said Mike Barcia, general manager for full-service advertising agency Davidson/Belluso.
“We’re very excited to be a part of these grants to recognize teachers in Arizona,” Barcia said.
Wilson plans to use the grant to purchase green screen backgrounds and lighting materials to improve the videos. “It looks professional,” Wilson said.
“This project brings out the best in students! It gives them a chance to think on their own. It’s not a worksheet that only has one answer,” Wilson added.
“This is exactly the type of thinking students need for future jobs that haven’t even been created yet,” Wilson said.