Teacher resources » Stop motion science

Stop motion science

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Overview

A great way to make advanced science topics accessible is to create video explanations of complicated processes, ideas, or concepts. This activity is great as an instructional video or student explainer to highlight an easy explanation of difficult concepts. 

Creating a stop motion video allows for an infusion of creativity into a vocabulary lesson or conceptual science lesson, and can help students connect to and become engaged in working with higher level concepts of science.

Keywords: STEM, Creative communication

Good for: Teams, expression

Grade level: 6-12

Skill level: Advanced

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Student Instructions

Copy and paste the information below directly into the description box when creating your student assignment, or, use it as inspiration to make your own!

Create a stop motion science explainer video to share with your classmates. Students will get into groups and create an easy way for their classmates to understand a science concept. Using various materials you will film an explanation of your science concept in stop motion. Stop motion works by capturing pictures of an image one frame at a time. Each time you snap a picture you will want to move your image slightly and snap another picture.

Creating the moving picture will take time! Work in your teams so that you designate someone to take the picture, someone to move the materials, and someone to work on moving the images into the editor.

Once you load all of your images into the Classroom editor you will drag them into the timeline and adjust the frame rate to create the stop motion effect.

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Lesson planning support

Tips to help your instruction in this activity or help to get you started!

  • If you have never done stop motion animation before, check out our Tips and Tricks on how to create these fun and engaging videos! 

  • Check out the templates page for help using templates for student projects or instructional videos using stop motion.

  • These videos are really helpful in driving vocabulary acquisition and can aid in supporting English language learners. The visuals produced by these videos offer scaffolds to help non native speakers make sense of academic vocabulary

  • To produce a stop motion video, you will need students to capture external footage using cameras. This is helpful and will improve the video production and quality but stop motion videos can be made with a laptop or phone camera and a tripod!

Technical Skills

Students Will…

Academic Skills

Students will…

21st Century Skills

Students will…

  • Learn how to import multiple images into the editing environment 

  • Practice changing the duration of images 

  • Adding multiple video tracks, a soundtrack, and voiceover into the editing environment

  • Acquire academic and scientific vocabulary 

  • Develop and use models and processes

  • Construct explanations for STEM topics, content, or vocabulary

  • Show flexibility in their thinking about STEM concepts

  • Creatively represent an idea

  • Communicate a difficult concept to a wide audience

Advanced: This is an advanced video editing project as it requires students to import external media in the form of images and change the duration of those images to create a stop motion story. These kinds of editing skills take time to develop but the acquisition of these skills opens.

STEM: Whether you are working to explain Science, Math or Engineering concepts, a short explainer video is a great way for students to make clear their understanding of a vocabulary word or specific topic. Having students create videos to show their understanding helps to foster agency, flips the learning so that the cognitive load is on the student, and amplifies a student's voice. This activity also can be useful for teachers looking to create fun, engaging, and creative instructional videos. 

Creative communication: Building creative confidence in students is important in a students understanding of themselves as a creative individual. Pairing traditional vocabulary activities with video helps to enhance the activity creatively and provides an engaging way of explaining difficult or advanced concepts. As students are presented with opportunities to be creative across the curriculum, their confidence in themselves will grow.