Part of the Cool Sites series

Many educators wonder how to inspire their students and motivate them to strive to learn. Standardized testing has burdened our students and a majority walk into our classrooms probably dreading the school year. My SEETA course, How Do You Youtube?, inspired me to think about the incredible benefits of using stop motion video for student motivation. Stop motion films can inspire your students because these films are creative, visually stimulating, and often feature incredible music. Here are three of my favorites from Vimeo. Visit the links to read about the making of these films, how they were used, and how the artist came up with the storyline:

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.

Sister Winter from FloodSanDiego on Vimeo.

The Piano from Kleis Auke Wolthuizen on Vimeo.

Here are three places you can find several stop motion videos to inspire your students.

Classroom Uses

Educational uses of these videos, include having students:

  • discuss one of these videos as an icebreaker to a lesson involving digital storytelling
  • journal a response to one of these videos
  • work in groups to create the dialogue. The students can also create the subtitles for the video using Overstream or video editing software.
  • choose their favorite video to discuss in a round table discussion
  • work in groups and choose their favorite video to mimic

One of the best ways is to have students work in groups to create a stop motion video. This can be a part of any curriculum. Have students create one to show a real world use of the learning. This can apply to math word problems, explaining scientific theory, defining an idiom, and so forth. You can also use a variety of materials. Below is an example of a stop motion film Maryna Badenhorst’s students created using clay. In the video, Daylight, the students put a nice twist to the Romeo and Juliet story.

If you work with little ones like I do, then consider having them draw and color the scenes to a group story. The video, Chiarastella, is a great example of a class story created with student drawings and voices. Visit the website which tells you more about this cultural holiday in Venice where students go caroling door-to-door to raise money.

Chiarastella from Raffaella Traniello on Vimeo.

Tips and Resources

You will find the following resources valuable in creating and planning your stop motion film:

Challenge:

Have students create stop motion films.

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What are your favorite stop motion films? How could you use this in your class?