Amy Traggianese | January 2016

5 Tips for Stop-Motion Videos

If you are like me, you don’t want to wait to learn everything about the technology or apps before you teach your students. Sometimes you have to jump right in and learn it with them!

A few years ago my school got two student iPad carts and I wanted students to create their own original content. I co-teach with classroom teachers during a nine week arts-integration block. In our school, these periods are called HOT Blocks, once a week sessions with lessons designed so all students, and especially those in need of academic support, can learn through multiple intelligences and the arts in addition to conventional methods. So what could be better than using stop-motion to show what they know in math?

Here are my top 5 tips for creating stop-motion videos with elementary students:

Tips for Stop-Motion Videos, Education Closet

1. Use an easy to use stop-motion app like iMotion, and be sure to demonstrate to students how they will use it. I usually have a class watch me and two students make a short stop-motion video with some school supplies, then show it to them before they create their film.

Tips for Stop-Motion Videos, Education Closet

2. Have the students plan out and rehearse with the objects they will be using. You can make the objects, use manipulatives, be creative!

3. Put students in groups of 3 or 4. I find that larger groups are harder to manage around the iPad. Assign jobs for students so that everyone gets to participate in the filming of the video. Two students can take turns taking each picture, and the other two can move the objects just a little bit for each frame.

Tips for Stop-Motion Videos, Education Closet4. I have supervised groups in second and third grade, but fifth grade students can film independently once you show them how it is done. My students loved using dollar store lighting and colored cellophane paper.

5. Use a stable support so the device does not move while students are filming! I learned this the hard way: I thought it wouldn’t be hard for third graders to keep the iPad still. I was wrong, see these videos. It was a good first try, but I had to find a way to keep the iPad stable while they were taking each frame. These math videos are much better, we placed the iPad on top of a wire shelf held up by two stools. Students place their objects on a piece of construction paper on the floor.

Tips for Stop-Motion Videos, Education Closet

Are you creating stop-motion videos with your students?

About the Author

Amy Traggianese has been an elementary visual arts educator in CT since 1995. A former kindergarten and first grade teacher, she has over 30 years of arts integration experience. Amy specializes in integrating language arts, math, science and technology into the choice art studio. She is an arts integration coach for The Institute for ARts Integration and STEAM. Amy is an active educator voice on Facebook and Twitter and loves a good Twitter chat. Connect with her on social media or at [email protected].