Monday, June 13, 2016

Stop Motion Animation on a Budget in your Classroom.

We all love a good story, getting hooked as it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait impatiently in suspense for what comes next.  Have you ever wondered to yourself if that story could be changed ever so slightly so that it could literally come to life.  Now I know some of you just raised your hand, your eyebrow or smirked a little thinking hey Evan isn't that what movie studios are for?  Well in some way that's correct but how many of us have 1000's of dollars to put a movie together.  I know that I do not have that kind of money just like many other teachers as well.

You could try things out using Stop Motion Animation as an activity to extend the learning in your classroom.  How many stories have you read to or had your students read where you thought you could extend the learning by having them create a product, maybe an animated movie?  How about those social studies facts that could translate into an individual or class project?  Maybe some of those science experiments which yielded ground breaking discoveries.  Why not try it out and see what could happen.

Now I have looked through numerous websites and other resources to learn about how to create Stop Motion Animation videos and by far I am no expert on the subject based on what I have read.  I am just someone that can share a little information that could possibly offer up some fun and creativity for your students in your classroom.

The big question now is how do you start and how much is this going to cost?  Let me address the cost issues right now.  I am one of those big proponents for anything free or at such a low cost that it is ridiculous, because I am always looking for it due to working in education.  So let's take a look a a few things that you may have around you right now.

What you need: besides a location to create your stop motion movie which just needs to be a clear space.  A camera - that is the easiest one.  You probably have a few items that you can use that you did not even think about.

  • Laptop
  • Document Camera
  • Digital Camera
  • Tablet device
  • Cell Phone

Supplies: there are a myriad of things that you can use and of course some of them can be free since you may already have access to them right now in your own home or there are students that have brought them into the classroom.  You can even, and I have done this, ask around to see who has some of these items that they no longer want.

  • A light source
  • Clay
  • Play Doh
  • legos
  • Action Figures
  • Dolls
  • Paper
  • Construction Paper

Now the most important thing you need to get started is the idea.  You want to make sure that you keep it to something that can be done fairly quickly where your students will succeed at it.  Once you have your idea set then have your students begin creating their story boards of the project.  You can provide students with a rubric that outlines your expectations, you can use Rubistar to create one if you want otherwise MS Excel or Google Sheets are good choices.  Have then write a script that can either be be done as a voice over or could be done as panels in the video.  Let them choose their supplies to create the video and then let them have some fun.  Let them be as creative as they want to be.

Now if you need to or want to use an App there are more than a few out there that you can use, but just to remind you of the title of my blog post.  We want to keep things on a budget, so here are a few FREE apps out there you could use.

  • iMovie - iOS
  • Stop Motion Studio - iOS
  • PicPac Stop Motion & timelapse - Andriod
  • Stop Motion Animator - Chromebook
This is just a few and by all means please share apps that you use in the comments below.

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