Stop Motion Animation

Creative Communicator
Claymation snail and leggo characters


Students must be able to communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. In this activity, students will learn the basics of stop motion animation so they can use this technique to display their learning in a variety of subject areas.

An introduction to the app will take about  20 minutes. Students will need an additional class period or two in order to fully complete their video.

Students will:

  • Be able to understand the basics of stop motion animation by using Lego minifigs, or premade clay figures.
  • Be able to make a quick stop motion animation movie using the free Stop Motion Studio App.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Stop Motion: Stop motion is a technique where you physically move an object and photograph it in small frames so that it appears to move on its own. When it is played back for the audience it looks like the object is moving.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Teachers should download the app Stop Motion Studio on Google Play for Android devices or Stop Motion for iOS
  • After the download check out the many videos to see how to use the app to use stop motion studio.
  • Try it yourself so you are able to show your students how to use the app.
  • Read this helpful article from Tinker Lab on more animation ideas.
  • Note the Add Disclaimer: The basic app is free, however many of the features are an extra in-app purchase.

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

Directions for this activity:

  1. Discuss stop motion with students and how many movies are made with this technique. Watch this video about films they may recognize using this technique.
  2. Show students how to make the legos walk. Here's some tips and tricks on how to make them move. Showing them this movie on walk cycles and movement can help the students make their brickfilms easier.  
  3. Provide students with mini figures or have them bring them in. 
  4. Have the students use a device with the app to make a quick movie of their choice using the techniques in the tutorials.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Assessment for this lesson would be teacher observation. As you are walking around make sure students are actively engaged and attempting to make these movies and have them show you the movies.  
  • Later, when students are making complete movies, you could use a rubric like this one to assess students.

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.
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.

  • Write a script from a scene or chapter in a book that you are reading in class and make a stop motion movie retelling the book. 

  • Watch this video The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It is made with stop motion. 

  • Using stop motion animation and clay animate a mathematical concept.

  • Watch this video on Solving Story Problems. It is made with stop motion. 

  • Demonstrate a science concept you learned using stop motion.

  • Watch this video on the Rock Cycle. It is made with stop motion. 

Demonstrate a social studies concept you learned using stop motion.

This task card was created by Jacki Zawierucha, Utica Community Schools. February 2018. Updated October 2023.