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Elmer and the Dragon and Zelda

Kevin shares his second-grade class's next stop-motion video about a boy and a dragon, a tale that reminds his students of themes in The Legend of Zelda series.


All photos and video were created and provided by the author.

Making a stop-motion video!

Earlier this year, I shared my 2nd grade class’s journey with the My Father’s Dragon book series by Ruth Stiles. My students immediately connected the books’ adventures, characters, and themes with The Legend of Zelda series, and we worked on a stop-motion movie (check it out here).

The first book has lots of connections to Zelda; it contains a young boy on a quest who uses many different items to solve many different problems. The first book is pretty straightforward, honestly: a boy goes on a quest to save a dragon, solves some problems, and saves the dragon.

Towards the end of the school year, we read the second book, Elmer and the Dragon. The sequel to the story reads very much like a true Zelda sequel with a simpler and more contained story. It’s also a little … weirder. It revolves around a mystery on an island of talking canaries, which makes me think of Link’s Awakening. There is a sense of wonder and uncertainty to the island, and you learn more about the main characters. There are enemies to fight, but for the most part, that island feels like a safe place to explore. Elmer and the Dragon is the same way. The characters are not being pursued by anyone; instead, they are left to explore a space at their own pace and wonder what is going on.

Students set up the display for the stop-motion video.

After finishing the second book, my classroom created another stop motion movie. As Zelda games grow from game to game in their complexity, my students' storytelling and animations have grown more complex, too. I always connect Zelda with these kinds of projects: just as Link grows and matures and becomes more capable as he experiences his adventures, the kids in my class seem to grow in so many ways throughout the year. They become independent and gain freedoms in their own ways. They become fluent in the tools for sewing and woodworking. They learn to create the best versions of themselves.

We created a video for the second book, and we hope you enjoy it! We have a third one on the way.


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