Bulb Archived: A/R Partners 2016-2017: Tomasello & Perez

Please respond to the prompts below with your partner. You can upload images, videos and weblinks to enhance your responses to the prompts.


1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.):

Math and science can be very complex and abstract to students (specifically 8th graders). We wanted students to really understand these concepts, methods and principles in arithmetic & science and how they are activated or applied in everyday life. We wanted to encourage and give them the opportunity to reconstruct or translate these math & science concepts thru a creative narrative lens (in this case visual).  We wanted students to create their own visual language/communication to help narrate scenarios/themes where science and mathematical concepts are applied or taking place. To do this, students would created stop-motion animation short films that investigates and focuses where Force & Motion: Action and Reaction occurs.

Students will also apply art methods such as: photography, video, drawing, color as part of their creative investigation and to help to further explain and communicate the academic and artistic language they have created. 

2. Big Idea:

Force & Motion: A detailed Investigation Into Action And Reaction And The Forces That Facilitates Them.

3. Inquiry:

Can students investigate art themes and practices to create a visual language which narrate or interpret the process of learning traditional math & science principles/methods?

Student Inquiry Questions

• Can you use modern concept of drawing to interpret traditional forms of academic instruction?

• Can you create authentic visual language that best reflect your own individual voice?

• Can the final artwork be used as a tool to educate other members of the school community while at the same time help you grasp science & mathematical concepts?

4. Grade Level:

8th grade

5. Academic Subject(s):

Science/ Math/ Writing/ Graphing

6. Artistic Discipline(s):

Drawing/ Photography/ Film/ Color Studies/ Stop-Motion Animation/ Social Media Technology/ Chalk Pastels

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:

This is our second year

8. Please describe your project:

Students used math & science concepts and visual arts as a tool to observe/document and create narratives that shows their detailed investigation into action, reaction and the forces that facilitate them. These drawings later were turned into a short film/stop-motion animation that were used as a public service announcement.

Student story-board sketch of a UFO abduction. This student’s sketch theorizes how force & motion could play a role in the increase and decrease of gravitational pull, thus making a person weightless (in order to suck them up into a UFO aircraft).

9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?:

  • Detailed understanding of how force & motion/action & reaction are in a constant state of occurrence every second of our daily lives. Whether  its a car breaking for a stop, turning on the heat on a stove to bring water to boil, the body physically moving or just the wind blowing the petals off a flower: Science is always happening. 
  • Deeper investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • Push students to further inquire about the factors that affect the strength of electric and the magnetic forces.
  • To be able construct and present arguments thru art that demonstrates evidence to support theories that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. 
This students brainstorming & journal entry describes how force & motion (in  our face muscles) plays a roll in how we make face gestures.

10. What surprised you during this project?:

Good Problem Solvers

Once they got started taking photographs of their animation scenes students began to explore other means to make their filming easier. Due to budgetary constraints, we lacked camera/i-pad stands/tripods. At first, Mr. Juan-Carlos & Alma were just going to have the students just hold the i-pad/camera to shoot their film. 

In one instance, Mr. Juan-Carlos was helping the first student shoot their film. He held the camera, talked to the student about standing as still as possible so as not to get a shaky film, how to try and stay with-in the same distance ratio in order to get a well cropped picture. Once they were done filming (Juan-Carlos & the student) another student who had been observing them invented/created her own make-shift camera stand. She then taught other students (and Mr. Juan-Carlos & Mrs. Grimaldo) how to build one. This helped students better control their i-pads, take better quality photos, and solved from shaking (plus a straining back). 

This student’s invention acts as a tripod to make filming easier. This contraption also lets the director/creator manage the whole filming process themselves if need be.

Leadership Qualities

Once each student began to finish their film they began to help one another with the filming process. Eventually 4 film production crews were created to help film and work with others (students) to execute their short films in accordance to the student/artist/director’s vision. 

Students created their own film crews (3-4) which could assist others in filming their Math & Science narratives. Students also create 4 stations for filming so that more than one person could work on their film.

11. What worked in this project and why?:

Good Listeners: Good Collaborators

Students took to the project pretty quickly and got deeply invested in learning about stop-motion animation. They were introduced to a variety of artists, 2-D/3-D/4-D to give them an idea of how artists explore a variety of different tools & materials to voice or communicate and idea or expression. Students also viewed a variety of stop-motion animation shorts. They payed close attention to the preliminary lessons to prepare them to begin working on the short films: drawing exercises, making simple flip-book animations, background color studies, etc. 

Hatch drawing, flip books, pastel color studies, were just few art exercises that student took part in to get them ready to create stop-motion animation film.

 Students enjoyed working with one another. Our intention was to pair them when it came to the filming portion of the project but through out the entire project from start to finish they took it upon themselves to bring each other up to date with the artwork in order to move on to the next phase of the project. They really worked well together, followed instructions and were very considerate in making sure they each completed the project. 

Students had to learn how to used i-pads as a stop-motion animation tool. Students had to learn how to create a narrative sequence using photography and editing tools.
A student practiced creating a short film in order to get familiar with the stop motion animation tools.

12. What didn’t work and why?:

Students were introduce to a variety of materials and were encouraged to bring miscellaneous materials (or speak with Mr. Juan-Carlos about bringing in certain kinds of materials) that could be incorporated into their films. Though they were introduced to art materials they were not familiar with, students didn’t take the initiative to taking complete control of the type of materials to be used. So they were complacent with the materials at hand.

 Next time (Mr. Juan-Carlos) will not only encourage but create an opportunity for students to have one-on-one meetings with him to help students investigate materials a bit more.

13. What was your approach to assessment for this project?:

Students will use math and science concepts and the use of visual arts as a tool to observe/document and create narratives that show evidence of their investigation.

In addition students will document the process by having the students journal their thoughts, questions, and what might happen if they add, change or delete one aspect of the picture/video. 

Students will be assessed by using both formal and informal methods such as:

Students journal entry on how he is going to use math concept: translations and rotations in their short film.
Same student as in the above pic: Student storyboard drawing of their short film.
  • Formative Assessments: exit slips, Mars tasks, quizzes
  • Drawings/sketches, observations, journals, pictures and videos
  • Work: Academic/Art Portfolio.
  • Journal entries, pre/post assessment documentation thru the use of photography, brainstorming writings.
Student Video- Math Concepts: rotation,/translation thru the use of stop-motion animation

14. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?:

 8th grade students installed their artwork along with documentation of their process in the school hallway at an after-school community event. Their stop-motion animation short-films played for the community to see. 

Students created an art installation showcasing their work  at an after-school community event. Their work were projected onto the wall of their school hallway.

Student work was also displayed at Convergence 2017.

Student’s work was also showcased/installed at CAPE’s CONVERGENCE 2017

15. Did sharing your students’ learning occur according to your plan for social engagement in your proposal? Why or why not? Please explain.

Even better. We showcased their work on Literacy Night where we could reach more of the parent community. Students also shared their work with the school community by installing their work in the school hallway (for a day) during the school hours.

16. How are you as teachers, artists and students social engagers through this work?:

Our initial focus was to create these short films with the intention to educate others on math & science. Students were involved in how their work would be shared with the rest of the school community.

17. Did sharing your project with others influence how you will approach future projects?:

Yes. Next time we will create opportunities for our students to visit in-school classrooms to share their all aspects of their projects and the motivation behind it.


18. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):

MS-PS2-1 -Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

MS-PS2-2 -Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-PS2-3 -Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and the magnetic forces.

MS-PS-2-4 -Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. Engaging in argument from evidence in 6-8 builds from K-5 experiences and progresses to constructing as convincing arguments that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or model.

Visual ART

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr1.1

Anchor Standard: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

Essential Question: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?


Document early stages of the creative process visually and/or verbally in traditional or new media.

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr1.2

Anchor Standard: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.


Middle School (6-8)


Collaboratively shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art and design.

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr2.1

Anchor Standard: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches.


Middle School (6-8)


Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art-making or designing.

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr2.2

Anchor Standard: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers balance experimentation and safety, freedom and responsibility while developing and creating artworks.


Middle School (6-8)


Demonstrate awareness of practices, issues, and ethics of appropriation, fair use, copyright, open source, and creative commons as they apply to creating works of art and design.

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr2.3

Anchor Standard: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: People create and interact with objects, places, and design that define, shape, enhance, and empower their lives.


Select, organize, and design images and words to make visually clear and compelling presentations.


Middle School (6-8)

Visual Arts/Creating #VA:Cr3.1

Anchor Standard: Refine and complete artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.


Apply relevant criteria to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for a work of art or design in progress.


Middle School (6-8)