I am working with a group of 6th graders who are writing reports about "Gifts
from the Ancient Civilizations". The classroom teacher took their pictures
with a QuickTake camera, imported the photos into the Claris Works paint
program, and then let the kids manipulate and paint over their photos to make
it look as if they were dressed in full Egyptian regalia (hats, staffs,
breast adornment, etc.). Beneath all the thick electronic paint peeked out
their smiling faces, still in photographic form. It was darling, and it
involved some research into appropriate dress, colors, heiroglyps, etc. The
deeper learning here is the idea of photo manipulation. I thought this was
an excellent idea that came from a regular classroom teacher (the kids don't
have art class at all). Obviously this type of project could be done with
any historical era. In a series, it could be "Me Through the Ages" or
something....and made into a KidPix slideshow. To import anything into
KidPix for slideshows, just be sure the file is in PICT format (usually an
option when you SAVE AS).
The next step for us is to take the images, convert them to GIFs and string
them together in a series of web pages, where the kids make interconnections
about the different "gifts" they have researched, and show their portraits of
what they would look like in Ancient Egypt.
Even though the QuickCam is black and white, you can still do some great
manipulations in b/w and greyscale, or have the kids "colorize" themselves
like the old movies...could open up a good conversation about that practice
in general. Because the camera is b/w you could also try a project about
light and shadow, tone and value create compositions in the viewfinder. Use
classic "film noir" examples on your VCR to illustrate how it is possible to
paint with light, and how filmmakers have been doing it for a long time!
Another natural idea is a photo-essay, digital yearbook, or day-in-the-life.
Also, you can still create web pages even if you don't have an internet
account. I recommend Claris Home Page for beginners...it looks and works
just like the regular Claris word processor. I am working at one school to
create an "Intranet" of web pages where the students may showcase their work
throughout the networked computers at the school. Instead of dialing up to
the Web, they view the files locally on their file server using Netscape as a
browser. Then, when the eventually get connected to the Web, they have a ton
of stuff to upload at their web site!