Year 4 Animation – teacher notes
Pupil Activity Code: 1J77 – What is it?
🧩 Progression of skills in this pack
1. Create a stop-motion video by duplicating slides using background, shapes and images.
2. Create animation using transition effects (motion paths, pulse etc).
3. Animate individual elements of objects.
4. Create animated GIF files by animating pixels.
⏱ 6-8 hours
Stop motion animation can develop many skills across the Primary Curriculum including Literacy (Story-telling) and Science (capturing processes) but these activities have also been designed to develop digital skills such as using Powerpoint or Keynote presentation software in the first activity.
If pupils have no experience with animation then you may want to look at the first two tasks in the Year 2 Animation Activity Pack before starting.
The more able pupils should be encouraged to used both narrative boxes and speech bubbles in their comics, but also communicate a message, such as instructions or a moral.
👨🏫 Teacher input
The most important aspect for pupils to understand is that animations are made up of frames (a series of still pictures that when played in sequence will appear to move). You could watch the video introduction with your pupils, which highlights how stop motion animation is used and what a frame is. (this is the same video from the Year 2 pack so pupils may have already seen it)
Before pupils try the activities from the pupil activity pack, you may want to show the video tutorials to the whole class (also included below) for each activity and discuss the different tools.
🛠 What will teachers and pupils need?
As well as the pupil activity pack using the code above, pupils will need access to:
– PowerPoint (for activity 2, it will need to be PowerPoint 2019 or PowerPoint online) or Keynote (iPad).
– The free Wick Editor website (Legacy version – see below).
– The free Piskel App website.
If pupils use Google Education then Google Slides can also be used for activity 1.
Within each pupil activity below there are suggestions of supporting less able pupils and extending the higher ability. Activity 3 (Motion Paths) could be targeted towards the higher ability as there are many steps.
For each of the pupil activities below it provides options for how each animation could be saved or exported from the different software/websites covered. These saved animations can then be matched against the skills using the downloadable assessment grid below.
📝 Unplugged Assessment Activity
Below is a downloadable and printable activity sheet/cards that can be used to assess pupil understanding of the vocabulary and application of the skills, either individually or as a group task/extension task.
Pupil Activity Pack (Teacher view)
Activity 1. Create stop motion animation in PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides using slides with background colour, shapes and images.
Watch the videos below which guides you through creating slides in PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides and then duplicating the slide and moving the objects slightly. The slides will represent frames of your animation.
The more able could experiment with having multiple objects moving around, once they have mastered one and for a purpose, such as showing the sun rising and setting.
Pupil Activity 2 – Use Magic Move in Keynote or Morph Transitions in PowerPoint to create Animations
Add and edit backgrounds and shapes in PowerPoint or Keynote for a purpose.
Use respective Morph or Magic Move tools to create animation of objects between slides.
Below is a water cycle example made using Magic Move on the iPad or PowerPoint and an animated World War 2 timeline, which you may want to show pupils before they try the video tutorials from the activity pack. These tools are excellent for pupils and teachers to demonstrate physical processes in subjects such as Geography and Science (Circuits, Volcanoes, Planets etc). Stories could also be re-told or created with animations. If you have the latest version of Keynote on iPad then there is an option to save the slide show to the iPad’s Camera Roll, find out how here.
How could you improve your animation? Add shadows to moving object?
Pupil Activity 3- Use Motion Paths in PowerPoint/Keynote
Use motion paths in PowerPoint/Keynote to create navigation animations.
Duplicate slides and add text.
For this activity, pupils are going to use motion path animations to create directions between two places on a map.
Before you watch the video tutorials in the pupil activity pack, pupils will need to use Google Maps to find a map with your two places on. If you are on a Windows computer, they press Print Screen on your keyboard once they have found the map and then right-click on a new slide in PowerPoint to paste in the map. If you are on an iPad then they will need the Google map open and Keynote open before watching the video. Pupils could also copy and paste an image of a map into PowerPoint or Keynote.
You could also adapt motion paths to re-tell famous stories. Below is a video of a re-telling of a scene from the Gruffalo using text, speech bubbles, images, motion paths over different slides made by a Year 3 pupil.
Pupil Activity 4- Use Pulse Animations in PowerPoint/Keynote
Use pulse animations in PowerPoint/Keynote and adjust speed and loop.
Add shapes and icons
Teacher Input and Pupil Activities
Pupils can use video tutorials for the software they are using to learn how to use the pulse animations to show the rate of the human heartbeat. Once they have done the human heart they could add other animals in by researching the heart rate of different animals, adding in an animal image to Keynote/PowerPoint. In the same way as adding the human heart animation, pupil could add in the heart to the animal and adjust the pulse speed. (If you do not have the icons in PowerPoint, pupils could search for ‘Human body icon’ on the Internet and copy and paste the image into their slide)
1. Draw a stick illustration
Use the different tools down left-hand side, such as lines and circles, to draw a stick person. The example above uses a stick person holding a ball. Stick people work well because we can animate different parts.
2. Clone the frames
Use the Clone tool by right clicking on the frame at the top. Move individual elements for each frame. You do not have to do small moves, just where you want each object (e.g ball to go). Similar to magic move and morph tools in activities above.
Export your project
You can save your animation to your computer as a video, wick editor project or a GIF by clicking on File.
Could you animate the ball going through the hoop?
1. Create pixel graphics
Use the different tools down left-hand side to create a graphic made out of pixels. For this example, we have created a fish. Use the video to help but experiment with the different tools.
Tip: Click the keyboard icon in the bottom left-hand corner to find the keyboard shortcuts such as undo.
2. Clone the frames
Copy the frames and use the move icon (hand) to create an animation.
You will notice in the video that we have used the Flip icon in the Transform section to make the fish face the other way to make it swim back.
You will notice in the top right-hand corner it shows a preview of your animation .
3. Add backgrounds and export
Add layers to your project to have backgrounds then use the transform section to apply the layer to all frames.
Could you use the layers to add more fish/objects or have bubbles moving upwards?
Once finished, use the picture icon on right-hand side to export your animation as a GIF file.