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Stop Motion Animation with Photographs

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Keywords: Video, Photography, Narrative, Art
Subject(s): Art, Photography, Video, Animation, Technology, Writing, English/Language Arts
Grades 5 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
View Full Text of Standards
School: Hyde Leadership Charter School, Bronx, NY
Planned By: Stacy Wieringa
Original Author: Stacy Wieringa, Bronx
Stop Motion Animation UNIT LESSON PLAN
TEACHER: S. Wieringa
TIME: 48 minute class periods
DATE: 2 ˝ Weeks
SUBJECT: ART/Video/Technology

New York State Visual Art Standards: 1 and 2

National Visual Art Standards:
Creating: 1, 2, 3
Presenting/Producing: 5, 6
Responding: 9

Common Core Writing Standards:
W3—Write narratives or real or imagined experiences
W4—Produce clear and coherent writing
W5—Plan, revise, rewrite, and edit writing
W6—Use technology to produce and publish writing

SWBAT: create a narrative using a series of still images (photographs)

SWBAT: imply the direction and speed of movement by taking still photographs of objects after moving them a little or a lot

SWBAT: create a coherent sequence of actions by placing images in order in video-editing software

• Point and Shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, or cell phone cameras (one for each person if doing individual student videos, or one for each group if collaborative work is happening)
• Tri-pods/stands/selfie-sticks (one for each group/camera/phone)
• Various art supplies for setting/background (large paper, cardboard, fabric, posters, photos etc.)
• Toys, inanimate objects, stuffed animals, action figures, etc. for characters in the narrative
• Computers with video editing software (Windows Moviemaker, iMovie, WeVideo, Adobe Premiere or the like)

Day 1: Introduction to Narrative and storytelling: Class discussion and teacher directed notes about the elements of narratives: Setting, characters, hook, plot, rising action, climax, resolution. Watching a couple of animated shorts on YouTube to see the storytelling elements in action—quick class discussion after each.
Day 2: Introduction to techniques: Watching “How-To” videos about creating various kinds of stop-motion animation. Teacher directed instruction about options of materials and supplies to use for setting, characters, and props.
Day 3: Planning day: This is the day to divide students into groups if the videos are going to be collaborative. Student brainstorming, mind-mapping, sketching around themes, images, sequence, and characters involved in the story/action. Write narrative. Exit Ticket: Group proposal with choices they have made for video and outline.
Day 4: Homework due (optional see below) Planning/Set Up: Students will finish planning the story and sequences. Students will set-up or create a backdrop or setting for their scenes. Students can start taking photographs if they are ready.
Day 5: Work day: Students will begin class by setting up their scene and their cameras on their tripod. Students will take a photograph move their character, take another photograph, and keep going until there are a sequence of photographs that imply linear/chronological movement.
Day 6: Progress sharing around the circle: Student groups will share their themes, story arcs, and progress so far. Class mates will ask clarifying questions and give feedback in terms of strengths and challenges—With any extra time in class student groups can continue taking photos
Day 7: Work day: Students will begin class by setting up their scene and their cameras on their tripod. Students will take a photograph move their character, take another photograph, and keep going until there are a sequence of photographs that imply linear/chronological movement.
Day 8: Revising, and Editing: Students will upload their photos to the computer and put them in the correct sequence in the video editing program. Students will then adjust the timing of the clips to be less than a second in order to create the movement (some clips can be a bit longer than others to create necessary pauses for the eye.)
Day 9: Revising, Editing and Adding finishing touches: Students will finish editing, add music* if needed, and add titles and credits. (*Music that has a Creative Commons—No Derivatives license or music in the Public Domain are the only songs that are legal to add to videos)
Day 10: Peer Group Feedback and Final Editing: Groups will pair up and show their videos to each other as is. The peer group will give suggestions for fixes and finishing as professionally as possible. Groups will go back to their own videos to fix anything and finish them off. Students will fill out self-assessment for their video (craftsmanship, creativity, theme, story-telling characteristics)
Day 11-Day13: (How many days this takes depends on how many students there are in class, how many videos there are to share, and how long the videos end up being.) Viewing: Make some popcorn (if you are allowed at your school) and have a Short Stop-Motion Animation Film Festival! (I like to have the students’ self-assessments in front of me while I watch the videos to help me grade them.)


Student proposals (Day 3)
Round-table sharing of progress (Day 6)

Student self-assessment (craftsmanship, creativity, theme, story-telling characteristics) (Day 10)
Teacher assessment (Days 11-13)

HOMEWORK Students can bring in any objects they want to use for their characters (toys, inanimate objects, stuffed animals, action figures, etc.)

_X_ Public Performance (Sharing progress along the way and giving peers feedback)

_X_ Self Study (self-assessment)

_X_ Other Study (step-by-step how to make a stop-motion animation video)

_X_ Community that Supports and Challenges (Feedback for peers)
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
English Class: This project could be done with an emphasis on writing in ELA, Social Studies Class: events in history in a social studies class could be a great place to begin the narratives, World Language Class: this could be done in a world language class if a teacher adds a voice-over component and a dialog requirement for the video in another language, Social Justice: have students choose a social justice theme to create a narrative around
Film-Festival for the entire school
Links: Free Music Archive
You Tube: Stop Motion Animation
Creative Commons Legal Music for Videos
Public Domain Music Information
Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Tripods, Flash/USB Drives, Video Tools