ComicLife and the Donnie Darko Bunny

by caitlynpickens

Day 2.

We had a couple more students today; Terri Dawn brought some of the girls with her so she wouldn’t be the only girl in the class. In the morning, we worked on explaining what functions are and how they work. We used a game where each student was allowed to draw one type of object, but could only do so while wearing a blindfold. Another student had to direct the blindfolded student to execute the drawing, specifying where and what to draw.

In the end, we had a complete picture capturing the major players in the Iktomi story we are working with, although the drawing was rather messy – as we expected. We hope that they took away from the game the following ideas: a function is isolated, can be called by a “main” function (or any other), can be executed as many times as desired, and can be passed parameters (in our case, colors).

Then we moved into storyboarding with the Iktomi story we read the day before. Storyboarding allows them a creative outlet and some time to draw, while also teaching them to outline their plot/scenes before they begin to animate them.

The students used the storyboards as a guide for acting out the legend and photographing each other in different scenes. I asked them to make props for their photographs, and we ended up with the boys all wearing hot pink warrior feathers in their baseball caps, while the girls had a handful of red paper berries and a water bottle which they soaked each other with. The boys wore their feathers the rest of the school day. For example, here are recess pictures:

Finally, we took them up to the computer lab and imported the pictures into ComicLife to make a comic version of the Iktomi story. The boys really took to the activity, which surprised me. Usually it is difficult to keep them invested in their computer work. But they seemed to like editing the pictures of themselves, adding the dialogue, and adding filters to the photos to make them look like comics. The girls were in the same group as they were last year for the activity (but with a different Iktomi story this year), and they liked seeing the comic they made last year and comparing it to the ones from this year. Apparently it’s really embarrassing that they didn’t all have contacts a year ago. They kept telling me “I was such a kid then!” as if they aren’t kids now…

In the evening, we just had a quiet night and made pizza. We got access to the life skills room finally, so we have a kitchen and a shower, thank goodness. We will see how long it lasts before someone locks us out again because of the “structural damage.” Jory says that it’s impossible to accidentally blow up the school with the oven here, so I’m counting on his judgment.

We are both scared of the bathrooms when we are alone. I’m afraid I’ll see the Donnie Darko bunny in there, and Jory is afraid that he will find a dead body that someone stashed and then have to deal with the hassle of calling the police. What a strange fear.