How you (or your students) can use stop-motion animation in your classroom

Photo by Sarah Nickerson

As enthusiasts of the combined power of animation and education, TED-Ed held a stop-motion animation station during breaks at TEDActive 2014. Using a fairly basic setup (iPad, tripod, black tablecloth, table, two lights and a stop motion app such as iStopmotion), TED-Ed animators Jeremiah Dickey and Biljana Labovic led attendees in creating their very own stop motion animations inspired by a growing library of TED-Ed Lessons. Here’s how they did it.

Photo by Sarah Nickerson

Photo by Sarah Nickerson

TEDActive attendees were able to utilize some props (letter magnets, cards, cutout images) to create a short animated message, using an animation technique called stop-motion. Moving the objects and letters, frame by frame, they created an illusion of movement. For many of the attendees, this was their first time trying animation, and they were surprised to find out how easy the process could be. With such a simple setup, stop-motion animations can be a great teaching tool for students and teachers alike.

Some of the educators had immediate ideas about how they could implement these techniques as learning tools in their own classrooms, potentially assigning animation creation to their students for upcoming class projects.

Here is one creation that came out of the workshop:


  1. I’ve just recently developed in interest for learning stop motion. I’ve found some resources that might be of interest:

    A workshop plan for students: from the National Film Board of Canada

    An stop-motion app (in French and English)

  2. This is great! I’ve used so motion in my comm tech class before (the students used plasticine to mold figures), but I never thought to have a set up like this with the iPad and flat objects like magnets and cutouts. Will definitely try this!

  3. Gary Schwartz

    Stop-motion adds great possibilities to deepening the experience of educational subject in all disciplines.

  4. We loved this post, because stop-motion has great possibilities inside a classroom and you explain that it is posible for students no matter the age that it is possible.

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