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Paul Sharits: Thinking in a New Way about Movies

For Grades 3–12

Reproduced with permission by The Paul Sharits Estate

Table of Contents

Featured Work
Objectives
Materials
Activity: Learning about Film
Activity: Make a Flip Book
Discussion: Flip Books versus Movies
Activity: Frame Studies
New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum


Featured Work

Paul Sharits
(American, 1943–1993)
Frame Study 15: Study for “Specimen II,” 1975
Ink on graph paper
17 x 22 inches (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery
National Endowment for the Arts Purchase Grant and Matching Funds, 1975
Background Information for Educators


Objectives

  • Learn that drawings can give information
  • Learn how celluloid fim works
  • Learn about the graph paper drawing Paul Sharits made to give information about one of his films
  • Make flip book “films” and learn to make drawings that give information about related creations


Materials


Activity: Learning about Film

Before video was invented in the 1960s, film was the only easily available medium for moving pictures, or movies. Film is a light-sensitive material on which images are printed in a rectangular format called frames, one after the other. When the images are run through a film projector, one frame is isolated by the shutter of the projector and shown for a very short time, followed by the next image on the strip and so on. As we watch the film, we see these still images, each projected for just a fraction of a second, as moving images. Show slides #2–8 in the Paul Sharits: Thinking in a New Way about Movies Presentation to your students. If you have a piece of film, let them see it! 


Activity: Make a Flip Book

Photographic examples of flip books:

Flip Book Idea #1: Experiment with ways to make your flip book easier to “show.” Taping or stapling the long side can help. Trimming the pages to different shapes can help too.

 

 

Flip Book Idea #2: Use a packet of Post-it Notes and color each page a different color. Try not to take apart the pages while making the drawings. The flip book is very easy to “show.”

Two examples of flip books are shown above. If students are creative in making the flip books, there will be room for a variety of responses when they create their frame studies on graph paper.

After viewing the rest of the Presentation, help your students view the flip books by ruffling their edges.


Discussion: Flip Books versus Movies

Have a discussion and make a list of how the flip books are the same as films and how they are different. 


Activity: Frame Studies

There are several options for this activity:

Have students draw a frame study on graph paper and then make a flip book from it. 

OR

Have students use a piece of graph paper to make a frame study for a flip book they have already created, using the sequence of colors in it in each square. It may be helpful to fold a large piece of paper into eight or sixteen squares because, for very small flip books, the drawing on regular graph paper will be very small. If students have been creative with their flip books, as in Flip Book Idea #2, how can that be reflected in their frame study?

Have students trade flip books and do the activity above. Shuffle the drawings and pass them out. Each student can show the flip book he has to the group—can they figure out who has the corresponding frame study? (Have the student who drew the frame study stay out of the discussion.) 

Have the students construct a new flip book based on someone else’s frame study.

If you have access to a computer animation program, make movies from the flip books or the frame studies, or have each student make an animated movie, a frame study, and a related flip book.


NEW YORK STATE LEARNING STANDARDs and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts (Visual Arts, including the museum visit) 1, 2, 3, 4
  • New York State Learning Standards for Math, Science, and Technology 3, 4, 5 
  • New York State Learning Standards for Mathematical Practice 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 5