Stop Motion Videos

Here’s an idea I overheard Robert Miller sharing during a workshop at FETC:

Invite students to use the Paper Pal cut-outs of BrainPOP characters to create their own stop motion video. It’s a relatively simple project, and you can take it as far as you want by including writing a script, storyboarding, creating backgrounds and props, etc. No matter how simple or complex it becomes, it’s a fantastic opportunity for collaborative learning and fostering team work!

Other ideas to use these Paper Pals? Please share!

Filed as: General

  • Dr. Kari Stubbs

    Great integration idea! Thanks to Robert Miller!

  • Robert Miller

    I tell ya, student movie making is SUCH a great educational pursuit. Think about it: You have a project that is an engaging process that brings in writing, drafting, revising/editing, collaboration, story boarding, use of technology, post production… So many 21st century skills in play!
    I use student-produced media as a portfolio entry to show understanding of a concept. Each production is constructed around a rubric of required elements (i.e. “Explain how a species has adapted to an environment.” “What was Reconstruction after the Civil War?”)
    And as we have found, the content storyline of a BrainPOP movie lends an anchor to our student productions. You know those students who always finish and ask, “What can I do now?” Make them a Production Team! Have them show you that they understand! Follow Allisyn’s lead and print out those cut-outs… Have your students create backgrounds that enhance their movie. Voiceovers are easy on most video software. For their outlines, you can find many templates of blank storyboards online.
    We use simple flipvideo cameras for filming– so so easy. Hey, DigitalWish has an offer where you can get 2 flipcams for the price of 1 ($150)… The best deal I have seen out there. Check it out:
    Here are tried-and-true free downloads of stop animation software for Windows: AnimatorDV and for Macs: FrameByFrame . If you Mac users can spring $50, I HIGHLY recommend Boinx Software’s iStopMotion It is what we use in our productions.
    The benefit of stop motion is it does not take much space like other productions– it can be a center to go to. Be patient and supportive. Let your students get excited and learn along the way with them. A key component is for students to evaluate their own works and that of others in a constructive way. You will be amazed at the improvement over the year… What a great keepsake to take with them after a year with you!
    ….. Oh, and make sure to share your projects with BrainPOP Educators! Post your productions on your class/school website! It is very motivating when your students realize that they have an audience outside of the walls of their classroom.

  • Allisyn

    I am right there with you, Robert. Thanks for sharing all of those great resources! The one that I used with my students is for macs.

    Check out this great video I just discovered on YouTube:

    It’s contagious!

  • Yasmin Joyner

    Hi , I am an animation and life drawing teacher for a program called (CAP) Community Arts Program. We are trying to use HD format in some capacity with our students. I was recently looking into the FLIP video camera and I was wondering if the FLIP camera can be used to do stop motion animation. Since the quality of the picture is so clear it would make our students films looks so much better. Please contact me if you know of a solution. We tend to use I stop motion software for the animation at our sites. But I stopmotion only allows the use of fire wire cables into mac’s. Anything you know would be of great help. Or if there is another cheap alternative to the FLIP that is around the same price range and in HD. Thanks soo much fellow teachers take care.


  • Robert Miller


    My students are currently doing some stop animation that we referred to in an earlier blog post… Yes, we love the flip video cameras.. and the HD versions are relatively inexpensive and easy for young students of mine to use… we use iStopmotion also but as you may know, it is limiting on the cameras that interface… Flip not being on of them.

    So I do use some cheap-o webcams for on the fly low quality student vids and they all work with USB. Have you checked out the compatibility list lately with digitial still cameras of better quality and USB on iStop? There is even a feature that will check on a camera that is plugged in thru USB, not firewire.

    I wish there were a comparable program out there for Windows… the dashboard and easy onion skinning are loved by my amateur animators.

    Hey, I checked out your page— Nice work! I am hoping you keep in touch on the BPedu site…. Allisyn is brainstorming how to soon start some sort of social networking and groups…. I am hoping to see BPedu include a media group to share tips, resources, and practices in student production… You would be a great asset!