Animation Lesson Plan:
Students will successfully create photographs to be compiled in a class stop-motion video.
I did this lesson with my 4th grade class but it could be done with 3rd grade and up. It took my class 3 one hour time periods for planning and creating props, and several days for capturing photos because we did not have enough cameras available for every group to shoot on the same day. Each group needed about 30 minutes to get all of their camera shots done.
2 weeks or more depending on available time and skill level of students
Resources and examples for the instructor:
Definition and history of stop motion
The Advanced Art of Stop Motion
Origin of Stop Motion Animation
Photoshop Animation Starter
Photoshop Animation- what’s new
Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair
(for students wishing to draw their stop motion video on a white board, construction paper, or other media)
Alan Becker Tutorials- 12 phases of animation
The Art of Animation and Motion Graphics (background history with examples)
Examples of Stop Motion Videos:
50 Incredible Stop Motion Videos
Stop Motion Ideas for Beginners
10 Stop Motion Ideas for Beginners
Chalk Stop Motion
Awesome Whiteboard Animation
10 Stop Motion Videos
1. Explain the idea of stop motion to students You can use the links above for information about stop motion. (Note: My students had already learned about animation so I just focused on stop motion for this project.)
2. Share a few stop motion examples with the class. Ask students if any of them have ever seen or made a stop motion video. Let students who’ve made one share their process with the class and discuss whether or not it worked.
3. Explain the importance of planning scenes, having the camera on a tripod and not moving it (draw a story board and show students how to use it to plan their video). Talk about the setting (will students need a backdrop)
4. Demonstrate the distance that students will be moving themselves or objects in each camera shot, and explain the importance of remaining frozen until the camera captures the photo.
5. Software- talk about the software that will be used to publish their video.
6. Brainstorm- ask students to write down a few ideas that they would like to turn into a stop motion video. Collect the ideas and pair students up with others who have similar ideas. Explain that students will be working with a group to create their project.
7. Once students are in groups and have shared their ideas, they need to create a storyboard, make a list of needed props and where they will get the props (make them, bring them from home, use something available at school, etc.)
8. Once the story is planned and materials are gathered, students need to set up their scene, look at it from different camera angles, choose the best angle for their project, and start taking photos.
9. Once all of the photos are taken, the shots need to be uploaded and turned into a video. Show students how to select jpeg sequence if they are uploading their own photos. Because of limited software, I had to upload the photos for my class.
10. After all videos have been created, have a stop motion film festival. Parents or other classes can be invited.
Rubric for success:
(I used check marks, a point value could be assigned to to each section)
Points or Credit Earned
Indicators of Success
Successfully collaborated with group:
Everyone shared an idea
Group members listened to all ideas, gave compliments and suggestions, and maintained a positive attitude
Every group member had a job to do during the filming and making of the project
Storyboard was created- frames were planned on board
List of needed materials was generated
List of where materials would come from and who was responsible for each item on the list was created
Setting was prepared before photos were taken
Students evaluated the camera angle by looking at the scene from several different angles and choosing the one that worked best
A tripod was used
Students slightly moved themselves or the objects in their scene for each shot
Photos were checked after each shot to make sure the shot was not blurred
Students were able to turn their photos into a stop motion animation using the available software
Animation was exported successfully
Students explained their project to the class and were able to tell about each step (what went well, what adjustments they had to make, what they would do differently next time, etc.)
Students gave positive comments during other group presentations and accepted suggestions during their presentation
Student Reflection: (Attach storyboard)
Title of project:
What type of stop motion did you create: (moving objects, moving people, white board animation, Legos, etc.)
How well did your group work together? What should your group do differently next time and what should they keep the same?
What was the most challenging part of this assignment?
What was your favorite part of this assignment?
Do you plan to create more stop motion animations in the future? Why or why not? If you do, what are some ideas you’d like to turn into a stop motion animation?