Freeze Frame Legends

Academic Enrichment Grant 2017-2018 Project Summary

Levi Kalsow

Standing Rock Middle School • Mandan, ND

Freeze Frame Legends is a year-long 6th-8th grade Gifted and Talented (GT) culturally relevant arts integrated project. With assistance from the Lakota/Dakota Culture teacher, the GT teacher and students will conduct research and interview community elders about traditional Lakota/Dakota legends. Knowing the struggles to preserve the Native American cultural customs and their way of life, students will engage in the process of converting these time-honored oral accounts to the progressive digital age through lyric writing, music composing, visual arts prototypes, and the media arts method of 3D printed stop motion animation. Because stories have been shared orally, it will be up to the students to use their imagination and the descriptions of their elders’ words to create the physical structures that best personifies each legend.

The design to production, discovery to participation elements built within 3D printing stop motion animation changes students from being passive consumers and learners to active creators and storytellers. The language of this modern media arts tool brings to life and gives soul to the stories of the past for the children and people of today. It will be the role of these students to capture the enduring message of these legends that reflect their culture’s common beliefs of peace and harmony with nature and all living things by ensuring this project is credible. At the heart of this complex, high-impact, and dynamic project, Freeze Frame Legends intends to fuse the past with both the present and the future. The significant incorporation of 21 century skills–creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration will test the intrinsic perseverance and ingenuity of this class, as well as the substantial responsibility of “getting it right” on behalf of their community. These student-created movies will add an innovative dimension to the “passing on from generation to generation” practice of the Lakota/Dakota people.

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