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 that include backgrounds and shapes. (Activity 1)
2. Create animation using transition and animation effects (morph, motion paths, pulse etc), including taking and editing a screenshot. (Activity 2-4)
3. Animate individual elements of objects. (Activity 5)
4. Create animated GIF files by animating pixels. (Activity 6)
📝 National Curriculum Content
Select, use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals.
⏱ 5-7 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 in presentation software, such as PowerPoint, Keynote on iPad and Google Slides in the first 4 activities. Plus taking/editing a screenshot and searching Google Maps.
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. Pupils also need to have completed the Year 4 Graphic Design Pack (first activity is free), which introduces presentation software (PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides).
👨🏫 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) – compatible with all devices.
– The free Piskel App website – compatible with all devices.
If pupils use Chromebooks/Google Education then Google Slides can also be used for activity 1. Activities 2-4 cover tools not available in Google Slides but there is still a tutorial for activity 2 and 3 for pupils to try it using stop motion animation.
Less able pupils should focus on activities 1, 5 and 6 as these tasks include fewer steps. Activities 2-4 require more steps to stretch the higher ability.
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 by duplicating slides with background colour and shapes
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.
Pupil Activity 2 – Use Magic Move in Keynote or Morph Transitions in PowerPoint to create Animations
Add and edit backgrounds, shapes and text in PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides for a purpose.
Use respective Morph or Magic Move tools to create animation of objects between slides (Not available in Google Chrome).
The videos below demonstrate how to use the Morph transition in Powerpoint and the Magic Move transition in Keynote on iPad to re-create the water cycle. 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. If you are using Google Slides then the video below demonstrates how to duplicate slides (similar to activity 1) to re-create the water cycle.
Pupil Activity 3- Use Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint/Keynote
Take and edit a screenshot.
Use motion paths in PowerPoint/Keynote to create navigation animations.
Duplicate slides and add text.
For this activity, pupils are going to take and edit screenshot then use motion path animations to create directions between two places on a map. Pupils will need to use Google Maps to find a map with your two places on, such as the school and another location. These could also be adapted for a place currently being studied. If pupils are using Google Slides then the tutorial below describes how to add and edit a screenshot then use stop-motion to create the animated directions.
Could you add distances for each direction as a text box on each animated slide?
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)
Use animation software to:
Animate individual elements of objects
Clone frames to create stop-motion animation
This activity uses the free Wick Editor website (works best on Chrome browser, particularly on iPad) to allow pupils to animate individual elements of objects. Many schools do not like pupils drawing stick people but for these tasks they work well as pupils can animate arms and legs etc. The video tutorials below are for the legacy version of Wick Editor (which we prefer) so click the x to close the window when first loaded.
The finished animations can be exported as videos or animated GIF files (see below). The pupils may have heard of GIF’s and are often used on social media. GIF files are low definition (small amount of pixels) frames that create an animation.
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.