Persistence of Vision

September 19th, 2009

Last week, my two 7th grade film history classes created flip books as a way to learn about the concept of persistence of vision. I found this definition of persistence of vision via Google: “When an image is flashed before our eyes, our brain holds it for a short time. If a second image follows close behind the first, our brain blends the two images. By flashing enough images in quick succession, the brain perceives the image stream as motion.”

A few students volunteered to help film all the flip books after school. It was pretty tricky, but I’m happy with the way it all turned out. Thanks to Trevor Kampmann, of the electro pop band, hollAnd, for allowing us to use one of his songs in our video.

This week, we’re watching some of the first movies ever created, and learning about the many devices used to watch these early films, such as the kinetoscope. Many of these early films can be found on YouTube today. Check out this mesmerizing film from 1899 created by the Lumiere Brothers titled, The Serpentine Dance:

I’m really excited to be teaching this new film history class, and having the chance to learn about the history of movies myself. I’m getting a new appreciation for modern cinema. I hope my students are too.

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