Tag Archives: green screen

Bringing the Seasons Together with Ebooks and Images

Read about the start of this project here.

Malik enjoying his Fall Background!

Malik enjoying his Fall Background!

The green screen residency at Orchard STEM finished up beautifully, with each kindergartener typing and creating their own ebooks about the seasons as displayed in their green screen photos (as seen above). The students typed sentences about each specific season’s weather, such as “Winter is very cold.” The ebooks served as a challenge to the kindergarteners, as very few of them had typed with an iPad before. I also noticed that several of them were confused by the iPad’s font and capitol letters, and those students subsequently had more trouble with the spelling than those who had used iPads or Apple technology more frequently. We were very lucky to have 8th graders come down and assist each team individually with the intricacies of spelling and grammar during the final session.

As this was my very first in- school residency as the instructor as apposed to the assistant, I was nervous to complete the project on time! The addition of a fire drill on the second to last session was a bit nerve-wracking, but the students were exceptionally eager to learn about and create their ebooks using their own images, and the results displayed the focus they gave to this project.


An 8th grader assisting several students with completing their ebooks

I could not have completed this residency without assistance from Stephen Phillips, who saw the project through to the end with myself and the kindergarteners. Also, many thanks to the PAA office for printing all of the images and ebooks for the class. These kindergarteners are bright and thoughtful, and I have learned so much about teaching from them. When I first started the residency, the students had not yet learned their seasons. It was an amazing thing to have students coming up to me in snow boots towards the end of my residency, telling me how it was really winter outside because of the cold and the snow! Orchard STEM School has recently won a grant for each student to receive an iPad, and I am looking forward to seeing how the kindergarteners use this technology in the classroom beyond this project.

Assisting a student with his Ebook.

Assisting a student with his ebook.

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Camouflage and Green Screens


Painting costumes

In the study of animal adaptations, camouflage provides a natural fit for an arts-integration residency. During their science class time, the 3rd grade students at the Michael R. White school worked in groups to research different ecosystems and the animals that populate them. Around this research project, I walked them through the process of creating all the components for a video that would use green screen to demonstrate the function of camouflage in animals’ survival while integrating the art concepts of pattern, color harmony, and low color contrast.


Applying face paint


We started by painting backgrounds from observation of photographs of different habitats, including wetlands, temperate forests, and grasslands. I explained that after shooting against a green screen, these backgrounds could be edited back in to create the illusion that students were standing in the habitats they had painted.

We then painted costumes that would help students hide from predators in that habitat by using camouflage, as well as costumes for the predators themselves. On the day of shooting, students took turns applying each others’ face paint so that they could be fully hidden within their environments. When the “predator” was off screen, students boogied down with some pretty awesome dance moves, but as soon as the predator could be seen on camera, we paused the music and students froze, unseen because of their camouflage. Once they predator stalked off screen, they could dance again!


Acting like a scary predator for the camera.

This residency was especially rewarding for me because it combined visual and performing arts, as well as traditional and new media, in what I felt amounted to a very rich experience for all of the students involved. Plus, they loved having a real Hollywood experience and being part of a film cast.


Reviewing the footage was a lot of fun!

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Teaching the Seasons Through Landscape Painting and Green Screen Photography

Kindergarten students in a previous residency at Orchard STEM School creating landscapes to use for their green screen photography project.

Hello readers, fellow artists, and fellow educators! This is my first post as an in-school artist educator, and I am thrilled to be writing about a subject that is very close to my heart: The Seasons. There is something wonderful about watching a kindergartener learning about the seasons for the first time, watching their faces light up when they realize that snow is indeed white and very cold and falls from the sky. It still amazes me that at some point I did not know fall and spring, summer, and winter, that they did not register as separate co-existing entities. Now, as a landscape painter living in such a varying seasonal location (Cleveland is known for its dramatic seasons), I am constantly amazed by the natural environment constantly changing around me. This awareness of their natural world is what I hope to instill in my students throughout the course of this residency. Another goal of this residency is to give them the knowledge and confidence to successfully navigate an iPad as a kindergartener. I am excited to continue combining traditional drawing and painting with the new photography technologies we have available, such as the green screen and the iPads.

My first lesson was devoted to winter, to using salt and glue on a pastel blue drawing to demonstrate snow. For our next session, I will be using the Color Screen App on iPads and a green screen  to photograph their winter landscapes, and photograph the students into their own snowy scenes. The students have been told to bundle up, as though surrounded by real snow. We will be doing this exercise with all of the seasons until they are each green screened into their paintings and drawings! Hopefully the combination of art, technology, and science will help the students to find some understanding of the varying world we live in.

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