Where’s Aaron: YEAR 1 - Media Arts - Elaborate2

The class is taking turns hosting ‘Aaron’ the class mascot, taking him on adventures. It is Little J’s turn, so Little J, Nanna, Big Cuz, and Old Dog take Aaron on Country to look for mica rock, and along the way they photograph the expedition. Distracted by the events of the day, Little J loses Aaron and the family enrols the help of Uncle Mick, a Search and Rescue officer, to return him.

Elaborate - Create and present media artworks that communicate ideas and stories to an audience

Theme - GENRE

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 8 ‘Where’s Aaron?’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding of story, character, setting, and sound. Also access the Little J & Big Cuz eBook for “Where’s Aaron?”.

The story of Episode 8 ‘Where’s Aaron?’, is about the class mascot, Aaron. Have the students suggest what a mascot is, and why it was so important for Little J that he take Aaron with him on Country. Have students recall how Monty was upset that he couldn’t take Aaron home with him the next day. It seems that the class has a special attachment to Aaron and they believed the doll represented them and/or their class in some way.

Explore students’ experiences of mascots, such as at sporting events, or Olympic mascots. Have students consider what mascots are used for:

  • promote a positive attitude and team spirit through activities such as cheer leading cheers, songs and dances
  • bring good luck to a team or group.

Making a modelling clay mascot

Invite students to design and construct their own class mascot doll. Have the class discuss what type of mascot would represent them: human or animal, male or female, sporting or artistic, etc. Have students work in pairs and brainstorm what characteristics the mascot doll should represent. Considering the symbolic elements (covered in 5E stage: Explain) what colours or designs should the mascot have.

Once the pair have drafted their ideas, provide students with coloured modelling clay and have students build their mascot design.

Stop-motion animation

Provide an illustrated task sheet showing how to make a ‘stop-motion’ animation, adapted from

Have students watch example/s of stop motion animations that use basic materials, for example:

Invite students to watch the ‘2016 Screen It winners’, which is a competition for students who make stop-motion animation.

Have students discuss what stories the films portrayed, and how they were constructed. Demonstrate and explain the principles of stop-motion animation and have students develop a check list of the media elements they need to consider in designing and producing an animation. Remind students that they need to also design and construct a set that the mascot will move around in. Using recycled boxes and toys, have students build a small set, and use a desk lamp for lighting.

Each group/pair needs to:

  1. create a storyboard (like a comic strip) that outlines the sequence of each part of the action/story/plot: the beginning, middle and end of the story involving the character/s.
  2. frame ideas and shot angles and their purpose: detail, gesture, emotion, etc.
  3. include sound effects, music, narration and/or dialogue to tell the story.
  4. create a materials’ list, detailing what the pair will use in their stop-motion animation (such as seeds, leaves, paper cut outs and coloured paper shapes arranged to create patterns, settings and action, lamp and tripod to keep the camera steady and in one position).
  5. practise/rehearse making and moving their characters for each shot.

Allocate areas of the classroom where the pairs/ groups can work.

Access and demonstrate a selected software program:

Invite students to share their ideas with the class, and evaluate the success of the animations as a promotion for their class mascot.