People can connect to Judaism through many different means. And so, at NLEResources.com, we are always on the lookout to bring you the latest trends and creative educational methods being used in Jewish classrooms and settings around the globe! In this post, we are going to highlight the use of animated plasticine (also known as claymation) characters.
The first example is a timely one, as it features the story of Megillas Esther. Itamar A. is an amazingly talented fourth grader. He attends King David Linksfield, in Johannesburg, South Africa and made these characters that appear below and really bring the story of Purim to life. If you are interested in seeing all of the images that he created, or want to use it in your classroom, the fine folks at JewishInteractive.net have allowed you to download the entire PowerPoint presentation here.
Our next example, is from the 11th grade class at Frisch high school in Paramus, New Jersey. It features an impressive array of stop-motion videography and animated plasticine to convey various messages found all throughout Pirkei Avos. As noted here, this type of video is quickly gaining in popularity and can be a good tool to help keep kids and teenagers interested in any topic—including one with a Jewish context.
As you can see in the infographic below, making this video was no simple feat:
Applications for Rabbis and Educators
The use of animated plasticine is a great opportunity to allow your students to use their hands, express their “creative Jewish juices,” and by extension, solidify their Jewish pride along the way. If you work with children as young as Itamar—or even teens and young adults—you may find that your students will thank you for incorporating this into your classroom or for giving them a homework assignment based on this post. We trust that all of the links here will serve as inspiration and will come in handy on many levels. If you are aware of other examples that we should highlight, please let us know by leaving a note in the comments section below.