Grade 3

Make an Animation

Creative Communicator


This animation maker from ABCYA will be not only fun for the students, but a great way to create a story that is animated gif when it is completed. It is easy to make with premade or create your own backgrounds, 100+ images, and text tools. Once you start the creation, you cannot save and work on it again. The animation can be exported and saved as .gif that can be opened and played in any browser window. 

This activity will take two class periods. Allow the students to learn and play in the first class period and create the animation in the second one. 

Students will:

  • Be able to create their own animated .gif.
  • Be able to use the background, images, drawing and text tools. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. .gif: A .gif is a file format for a picture. 
  2. Animated: An animated movie has many frames put together. 
  3. Animated .gif: An animated .gif is frames put together to create an animation. 

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Familariaze yourself with the ABCYA animation maker
  • Watch the ABCYA animation maker tutorial video
  • Create a short example and export the .gif to share with the students. 
  • Decide the topic for the .gifs. 
    • The students can create a short story. 
    • The story can describe something to teach the other students about the topic. 
  • Decide what resources the students will use for their research if they are doing a research topic. 
  • Decide how the students will take their notes. 
    • electronic
    • write them down on paper

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will introduce what an animated .gif is. 
  2. The teacher will take the students to the ABCYA animation maker site
  3. Let the students play with the site first to learn how to use it. 
  4. After the students are comfortable with the program, have them create their own animated .gif that is curriculum rated. 
    • The teacher will decide the topic that the students should create an animated .gif for. The completed .gif should teach others about the topic. 
    • The students should plan ahead before they create it and have their research completed and main points written down. 
      • Use books from the library or Michigan eLibrary databases for the research. 
      • Have the students take notes. 
      • Have the students write out the text that they are going to use on each frame. 
    • When the students begin the creation they will use their planning notes. 
  5. Have the students export the .gif to show their peers. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Create a short rubric for the .gif for the following:
    • Knowledge of topic
    • Drawing
    • Grammar and spelling
    • Aesthetics

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Creative Communicator
6a. Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
6c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

ABCYA Animation

ABCYA Animation Tutorial

  • The students are practicing their keyboarding skills. 

  • The students write a short story or poem. 

The students create their own background and drawings for the .gif. 

The students create an animated .gif about a science topic. 

The students will create an animated .gif on a history topic. 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, REMC Association of Michigan, April 2018. Updated October 2023.