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Plan for Computer Equipped Room::

Melissa Kirchoff


Landscape Stop Motion


Grade Level: 4-5th Grade

Time Needed: 5 classes


Focus: This lesson is for students to be introduced to the history and methods of stop motion, and to create a digital story of the transitions in landscapes due to weather.



A. ( Describe the use of elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence.

B. ( Students will demonstrate use of a variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software.

C. I would like my students to learn how to use found materials to create a digital media piece.


Motivational Resources:

  • Images of Landscapes 
  • Images of Weather conditions
  • Examples from previous classes or teacher sample
  • Stop motion books
  • Weather/natural disasters book
  • YouTube videos (see links for great references)
    • Stop-Motion Landscapes



  • Classroom equipped with at least 5 computers with Adobe Photoshop CS3 program
  • One to three digital cameras
  • Camera memory cards
  • One to three tripods
  • Table top and backdrop
  • Flash drives or CDs to save work
  • Note cards for storyboarding (20 per group)
  • Colored pencils for storyboarding
  • Tagboard for storyboard matting
  • Tape or glue to matte notecards
  • Grocery bags to put objects in on hike
  • Found objects:
    • Sticks
    • Leaves
    • Rocks
    • Pine needles
    • Pine cones
    • Plants (leaves, stems)
    • Sand
    • Dirt



Introduction to the Lesson:


Stop-motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object(s) to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.


Stop motion has been around for a long time and has been heavily associate with film-making. Some of the first stop motions were "The Humpty Dumpty Circus" (1898) and the "Fun in a Bakery Shop" (1902). In 1907 the film "The Haunted Hotel" was successful in the box office  and the stop motion animation was a hit to the audience. Later in 1912, the first successful clay animation movie hit the cinema.


Clay is often used in stop-motion to transform figures. This type of stop-motion is called clay-mation. Although you can use any object to create a stop-motion animation. In this project we will be using found objects in nature such as sticks, rocks, pinecones, and leaves to create a landscape and use the idea of weather to transform the landscape. For example, a huge wave can transform a beach or a volcano can transform a forest into lava.



Instructional Procedure:


Class 1: We will start by having a discussion about the history of stop motion and the techniques used in stop motion. Once we go over the techniques and tools we will get up and take a hike outside around the school. The students will be given a bag and asked to collect sticks, small rocks, sand, leaves, and pinecones. Once the students each collect objects, the class will return to the class room. Now the teacher will explain what we will be doing with the objects. We will discuss the idea of the storyboard and look at the landscape and weather movies and images. The students will be split into groups of 4 or 5 and then be asked to brainstorm their ideas. Once each group decides on a theme, they will begin story boarding their transformation.


Class 2: The students will have time to finish their storyboards at the beginning of class. After all the group's storyboards are finished, the students will be asked to help set up the cameras, tripods and back drops. Once the equipment is set up the groups will start setting up their landscape. I will emphasize the importance of moving the objects very slowly each frame. The students will shoot their landscape transformations.


Class 3: Students will set up and continue with their landscape transitions. All groups will finish capturing their stop-motions in this class period. Once the students are finished taking the photos, they will then upload the images into a singe folder on a computer. The students will open Photoshop and have a tutorial on opening images, selecting all, copying them and pasting the images into a single layered document.


Class 4: Once all the frames are put into a layered document, the students will be instructed to create an animation from the document in Photoshop. This is done in the animation window. Remind the students to save their work often. Once their final animation is complete, the students must export their animation into a Quicktime movie. This final document should be saved on a hard drive or CD.


Class 5: Now we will have our final critique. Students will display their work on their computer screen. In the same groups, students will rotate around the room and view each group's videos. Students will be asked to share one thought about the work being viewed. Students will write down their thoughts and when all the groups are finished viewing everyone's animations we will come together as one group and share what everyone wrote down.




The students will be graded using a rubric. They will be observed throughout the class periods on how they worked with their peers, listened to directions, used equipment with respect (including computers), and participation during critique.



Art Production: We made animations with found objects and digital methods.

Aesthetics: We discussed how stop motion is an animation form and that found objects can be used to create a piece of artwork.

Art History: We discussed the history of stop motion and how it has been used throughout history.

Art Criticism: We held an in class critique.





Reilly, Dermy. A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation. Copyright (c) 2007


Delahoyde, Michael.  Stop-Motion Animation. Washington State University.



Links of Examples:


Examples of Stop Motion



Art Clokey's Gumby and Davey and Goliath



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer



PES Stop Motion



Stop Motion Animation


Plan for Non Computer Equipped Room::

Melissa Kirchoff


Flip Book Animation


Grade Level: 2-3th Grade

Time Needed: 3 classes


Focus: In this lesson students will create movement using simple flipbook techniques and will be able to define basic animation vocabulary: persistence of vision, registration, key frames, and tweening.



A. (  Identify the tools, materials and techniques from a variety of two- and three-dimensional media such as drawing, printmaking, ceramics or sculpture.

B. ( Compare and contrast the characteristics of a variety of media artworks.

C. I would like my students to create a 2-D flipbook and understand how the method is considered animation.


Motivational Resources:

  • Images for inspiration for the flip book pictures
  • Professional flipbooks
  • YouTube  video
    • Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur



  • Scrap paper
  • Index cards (30 per student)
  • Pencils, colored pencils, markers
  • Stapler and staples



Introduction to the Lesson:


Animation is about creating an illusion. Flipbooks are a type of animation made with many sheets of paper, that display drawings that gradually change from one page to the next. Flipping the pages creates movement because of vision phenomenon. When the pages are seen in quick succession, they become animated. Flipbooks evolved from thaumatropes, zoetropes from the nineteenth century that utilized for entertainment.


Persistence of vision = As the eye sees a series of still images very quickly, our eyes have sensors that retain each image for a moment, making us perceive the series as one continuous image.


Registration = Flipbooks use the registration system to keep images perfectly aligned. Animation boards, paper, and pegs can be used to make sure each drawing is in line with those preceding and following it so that all parts of the image, including the changing and non-changing shapes, are smoothly coordinated.



Key Frames = Frames containing important changes in the subject of animation; i.e. changes in the drawing, changes in the set up, important stages of movement, etc.


Tween = is actually short for "in-between", and refers to the creation of successive frames of animation between key frames.


Instructional Procedure:


Class 1: We will start by having a discussion about flipbooks and discuss the terminology. Then we will view samples of flipbooks and point out the different characteristics about them. We will also identify the terms we discussed and where you can see them. Once the discussion is finished the students will pick an animal they want to animate and plan the character out on scrap paper.  The students will the be given then index cards and they will number the cards and begin drawing the first image. Remind the students to use color and only slightly changed the action on each page.


Class 2: The students will continue drawing their characters in sequence on the index cards. When all the images are drawn, staple the cards in order along the left side.


Class 3: The students will have a group critique. Each student will partner up and look at eachother's flipbook. When everybody is finished, as a group each student will share what they liked about their partner's flip book. 



The students will be graded using a rubric. They will be observed on how well they worked, listened to directions, used materials with respect, and participation.



Art Production: We made flipbooks with traditional materials.

Aesthetics: We discussed how flipbooks are an animation form.

Art History: We discussed the history and terminology of flipbooks.

Art Criticism: We held an in class critique.






Animation Terms:

Links of Examples:


WinsorMcCay's Gertie the Dinosaur






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