2 March 2020

Get tips for film and media in the classroom – Skills not Frills video series – Film and Media #3

Getting your young learners to create animations is a great way of exploring ideas while incorporating digital literacy into your lessons.

Remember, you are not training them to be professional animators!

Use animation as a tool to explore the curriculum. 

Embrace the process and harness the technical challenges involved to encourage your pupils to be independent and resilient learners.

Download this blog as a resource sheet.

Film and Media #3: Animation in the classroom

ACTIVITY 1: Make a zoetrope

A zoetrope is a really fun way to explore bringing pictures to life. These preceded the invention of cinema and are made with a drum that has slits cut in it. These allow you to look inside the drum, where there will be a series of pictures. When you spin the drum, the slits act like a shutter on a film projector. 

Making a zoetrope requires careful measuring, simple engineering and creativity. It is a great Mathematical activity and suits groups of 3-4 children working together.

You can get full instructions here:


ACTIVITY 2: Stop motion animation

iPads and tablets are brilliant tools to get your pupils to experiment with stop motion animation. There are lots of apps available which make the technical process pain-free and fun and allow you and your learners to enjoy the creativity and tell a story.

iMotion is an app that we have found simple to use and that works well in a classroom environment. 

Pupils can use Lego minifigures, or paper puppets to create their characters which means that you can start animating very quickly. You could ask your pupils to adapt a scene from a book you are studying, create a music video or simulate the motion of the planets in the solar system. Because it is animation the only limits are their imaginations.

ACTIVITY 3: Explore Scratch

Scratch is a computer programming tool aimed at school pupils. It allows anyone to use drag and drop programming to create working games and animations.


It can be daunting to start, but what is great is that your learners can look at games that have been made by other users and look at their code, and see how they work. 

There are plenty of really accessible tutorials and if you get stuck there is a really helpful user forum with an international community of scratch fans who are happy to answer questions and help you solve any problems.

What next and where to find more help

LINKS: More resources to help you make films with your pupils



This is a series of 15 ‘Skills not Frills’ resource sheets, each accompanying a short video.

This is no #3 of 3 media resource sheets and accompanying film.

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