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Science Claymation - Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

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Keywords: space, physics, natural cycles, life cycles, science, animation, claymation
Subject(s): Grammar, Service Learning, Spelling, English/Language Arts, Photography, Biology, Earth Science, Reading, Music, Animation, Writing, Special Needs, Life Science, Technology, Social Skills, Video, Art, Science, Drama, Math, Speech and Language, Physics
Grades 3 through 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Annunciation School, Albuquerque, NM
Planned By: Colleen Ruiz
Original Author: Colleen Ruiz, Albuquerque
A grant from Tool Factory Movie Maker could enhance science education tremendously across four grade levels at our school. Students would complete Claymation projects annually with graduated complexity of topic and product requirements. Claymation Stop Motion Pro animation software can provide an engaging platform for integration of science, reading, writing, math, art, and technology standards. The software could help promote creativity and innovation through student driven scripts and movie making. Communication & Collaboration are critical skills for 21st Century Students. Working in teams, understanding each person’s roles, and conducting quality control audits will promote highly effective collaborators. Students will be assessed on their critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making abilities. Many of tomorrow’s jobs are currently undefined. Our future professionals must be able to learn on the job and solve new problems using available resources. Students will share finished products with the community on a public website to help educate their peers.


THIRD GRADE: Work in groups to create a silent Claymation of a life cycle. Choose one of the following: insect, amphibian, bird, mammal, reptile, or plant. Include at least three distinct phases and show gradual metamorphosis.

FOURTH GRADE: Work in groups to create a Claymation of a cycle in nature with music in the background and annotation. Choose one of the following: water cycle, rock cycle, seasons, or energy cycle (coal, solar, natural gas, or hydroelectric).

FIFTH GRADE: Work in groups to create a Claymation of physics using voice and music in the background. Choose one of the following topics: Motion-speed, time, and distance, Velocity vs. Acceleration, Newton’s 1st Law (friction, inertia, mass, force), Newton’s 2nd Law (acceleration, force, mass), or Newton’s 3rd Law (action/reaction).

SIXTH GRADE: Work in groups to create a Claymation video of a piece of the solar system using voice and music. Choose one of the following topics: Day & Night Cycle, Year & Seasons, The Moon’s Phases, Eclipses, Planetary Motion, Motion of the Constellations, Size of Solar System Galaxy, and Universe, Black Holes, Formation of the Solar System.


Student Professions will be assigned for both the planning and production stages (researcher, props master, scenery, script writer, animation expert, voice, camera person, editor etc). Students will be assessed for the quality of their contributions individually and as a team via a rubric. These are the basic components:
• Research quality and source documentation
• Animation and explanation of changes
• Identification and explanation of critical Vocabulary
• Script quality and thoroughness
• Character and Scene
• Animation and Voice
• Creativity and Innovation in final product
• Problem Solving Abilities
• Evidence of effective Communication and Collaboration
• Effective Technology use

This is also an opportunity for mentorship. Our 5th and 6th grade students can teach the 3rd and 4th grade students the mechanics of the software and help plan the project.
Thank you for your support of technology in education.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
These lesson plans cross mulitple subject areas including writing, reading, math, science, technology, and art.
Translate the script into Spanish and record as a bilingual production!
Links: Science Blog
Materials: Art Tools, Cables, Video Cameras, Mobile Labs, Animation