43 Ways Stop Motion Projects Engage Young Media-Makers

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Kids have a blast making movies. It is a fun, playful exercise with technology - a nice extra in the educational landscape.

Wrong! 

For this generation, making media is a basic literacy. If you are below 12 years of age, the crazy technology on tablets and in our pockets is not technology. It is infrastructure.

Fortunately, educators don't need to look at this type of education as a "nice extra". 

It is a core multi-disciplinary, life-skills-based powerhouse of a process!

The list below was created by teachers after we created an original animated short film with them using construction paper, markers, and scissors. 

We asked them to list the topics, concepts and skills they felt were relevant to their project.

This is their list in no particular order:

1. Writing

2. Drafting and Re-writing

3. Brainstorming

4. Sequencing

5. Ratios and Sizing Experiments

6. Using inventive word play with idioms, puns, and slang

7. Engineering and rigging props for functionality

8. Math (stop motion projects are big math story problems!)

9. Spatial and Manipulative Intelligence

10. Composition of Scenes and Framing Camera Positions (Cinematography)

11. Editing Video and Sound

12. Voice acting and Sound FX design

13. Improvisation

14. Hypothesizing/Estimating/Predicting

15. Interfacing with Technology and Apps

16. Creative Problem Solving

17. Team work

18. Negotiation

19. Compromise

20. Deadline management

21. Exhibition On Screens

22. Oral Presentation

23. Drawing/Sculpting/Posing

24. Non-verbal communication

25. Scoring and music application

26. Genre Identification

27. Critical Media Discernment Emerges

28. Organization/Filing/Categorizing

29. Leadership

30. Theme and Subject Matter Development

31. Timing and pacing of a performance

32. Choreography

33. Cooperation

34. Lighting

35. Color design

36. Continuity skills

37. Pre-visualization

38. Trial and Error in a safe space

39. Tinkering

40. Small Group Dynamic Experience

41. Character Design

42. Real-time hypothesis testing

43. Decoding Motion Dynamics

We could go on.

This is why we are passionate about stop motion animation education for kids. It involves almost all the skills kids go to school to learn. 

One of the youngsters we were helping a few years ago was half way into making a film, paused and said, "Hey, wait a minute, you are teaching me math aren't you?"

We plead guilty as charged.

Hopefully you can surprise your young learners too.

Google "stop motion apps" and get your devices loaded up. Animating Kids recipes are app and device independent.

Bon Animate!

The Animation Chefs Team