Cracking Ideas crackingideas.com/third_party/Cracking+Ideas is a website full of teaching resources produced by the Intellectual Property Office in collaboration with Aardman Animations. The materials feature some of Aardman’s best-loved characters such as Shaun the Sheep, Morph and – of course – Wallace and Gromit.
In 2016, Cracking Ideas ran a series of competitions to celebrate the 40th birthday of Aardman, and students made their own animations and uploaded them to YouTube – some competition entries can be viewed at crackingideas.com/ideasgallery
Much of the material relating to these are still available online, though the competition is not being repeated.
There are lots of ideas for classroom activities, resources and lesson plans, and these can be combined with other resources that are freely available. The underlying message is about intellectual property but resources can be easily adapted and all enable cross-curricular teaching and learning.
For example, there are Key Stage 3 (11-14) and Key Stage 4 (14-16) resources based on Morph and supporting the creation of short animated films. These can be used with clips from the BBC’s Newsround website – here is one with Merlin Crossingham from Aardman Animation demonstrating how to make Morph himself – www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/28182480
Required introductory viewing is a short clip on how Morph made his comeback – www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/28182479 which includes instructions on the crucial first step in producing your own version of this little character – first weigh your Morph! This collection of resources has cross-curricular potential for English, maths, science, art and design, media and also PSHE.
The primary resources feature Shaun the Sheep and don’t involve creating your own animation, but still have plenty of cross-curricular opportunities. The BBC’s CBeebies site has lots of Shaun the Sheep clips, games and activities at www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/shaun-the-sheep
And there’s a glimpse Behind the Fleece where more talented Aardman staff explain how Shaun’s adventures are brought to life – www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/watch/p01rrgt8 (this is a long clip and might need pausing for discussion with primary pupils).