Stop Motion Factory is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of animation! I ran this as a 4 week series for about 15 kids during the summer, and it was a ton of fun.
Icebreaker Activity – Monster Factory
On the first session, I had an ice breaker to help them get comfortable with each other and get the creativity running.
- Everyone got a colourful paper and marker
- We folded the paper into 3 sections
- Everyone drew the “head” portion of a creature (could be a person, an animal, or a monster os your own creation!) on the top section of the paper
- They folded the top portion down, so only the blank bottom 2 sections were showing, and passed the paper to their right
- Everyone drew the “torso” portion of a creature on the middle section of the paper, folded it over, and passed it to their right
- Everyone drew the “legs and feet” portion of a creature on the last section
- When we were all done, we opened it up, laughed hysterically, and passed it back to the original creator
Stop Motion “Lesson”
Time to learn about the magic of Stop Motion.
- Show them examples
- I created a Youtube playlist of some neat Stop Motion movies, that used a variety of materials – claymation, white board, flip book, “live action,” Lego. We watched a couple, and discussed how they could’ve been made. The kids were welcome to go back to the computer to watch more videos during Free Movie Making Time.
- Explain Storyboarding
- I encouraged everyone to think about what kind of story they wanted to tell, and showed them an example of a storyboard. I created a storyboard worksheet, which you can download and use: Stop Motion Storyboard.
- Show them the software
- I used iPads with the free Lego Movie Maker app, and had one station with the Hue Animation Studio. Most kids preferred to use the ipads – not being connected to the computer gave them a bit more flexibility.
- We talked about camera angles, backgrounds, and how taking more pictures of smaller movements will result in a smoother video.
Free Movie Making Time
I set out tables with ton of materials:
- One table was designated for backdrop creation with scissors, glue, card stock, and coloured paper. You can see an example of a backdrop above
- The other tables were filled with materials for create the subjects of stop motion:
- googly eyes
- white boards + dry erase markers
- Pokemon + other plastic figurines
- Sticky notes
I encouraged the kids to make a movie about something they really love, or something they know a lot about. One boy made train themed videos all summer, one team made a cool underwater Minecraft claymation, and another did a carefully planned, funny summertime drama. I was available for help and ideas, but for the most part they ran with it.
If you have any questions, ask away!