This lesson is suitable for students in : Primary 5 and 6

Artwork title: Dead but Alive

Name of artist:   Jasjit Kaur / Angelina Chia


 Lesson Idea description

Are inanimate objects truly dead and lifeless?

Are we really looking close enough to see the possibility of life in things around us?


Through experimentation of materials, our curiosity was piqued by the possibility of manipulating different materials to create a semblance of life and movement. Often, we missed out the beauty of movement and changes present when materials react to temperature, energy forces and with other materials, because we are too busy focussing on the end results or we take these for granted.


The lessons will be conducted over a period of 6 weeks. Lesson activities will include:

  • experimentation with materials
  • drawing of the patterns, shapes and textures of the materials observed during the experimentation
  • documentation of experimentation using photographs
  • group work: production of a 1 minute stop-motion movie depicting the movements



Pre-requisite: students would have prior experiences using the iPad to capture photographs.



Students will:

  • Discuss about the materials used in the video:

– What textures/patterns/shapes did you observe in the video?

– Were you able to recognise the materials immediately? Why?

– What do the textures/patterns/shapes of these materials remind you of?

– Do the movement of these materials resemble that of animate/living things? In what ways?


  • List the possible materials for depicting movement, e.g. water and oil, ink and water, ink and oil, salt and ice, vinegar and ink, milk and soap etc
  • Students to think of ways to animate the inanimate objects (e.g. paper, string, cloth, cardboard), creating different types of movement (e.g. fast, slow, gentle, dynamic, exciting)
  • Students to explore creating movements using the chosen inanimate objects.
  • Students to sketch the textures/patterns/shapes of materials from observation.
  • Students to take photographs of experimentation processes using the iPad. Teacher guides students to consider taking shots from different angles and distances.
  • Students to collaborate to create a 1 minute stop motion movie using the photographs, with a stop motion app available for iPad:

  • Teacher to organise a presentation/critique session where students share their concepts/ideas, challenges and successes; peers to respond with feedback.
  • Extension: Teacher could create a closed group Instagram account for students to post their videos. They are to write a brief caption to describe their work, the movement created and the possible emotions the images evoke. They can then invite their friends to comment on the works.


For closure, teacher will look through the Instagram postings and provide feedback, elicit from students their thoughts on the comments, for instance: Are they valid? Do you think your viewers understood your intention?

Have students to consider: How has this lesson changed the way you look at things around you?

E.g. I used to think… I think…





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