5 Tips for Stop-Motion Videos

By | 2018-01-10T10:00:30+00:00 January 21st, 2016|

 If you are like me, you don’t want to wait to learn everything about the technology or apps before you teach your students. Sometimes you have to jump right in and learn it with them!

A few years ago my school got two student iPad carts and I wanted students to create their own original content. I co-teach with classroom teachers during a nine week arts-integration block. In our school, these periods are called HOT Blocks, once a week sessions with lessons designed so all students, and especially those in need of academic support, can learn through multiple intelligences and the arts in addition to conventional methods. So what could be better than using stop-motion to show what they know in math?

Here are my top 5 tips for creating stop-motion videos with elementary students:



1. Use an easy to use stop-motion app like iMotion, and be sure to demonstrate to students how they will use it. I usually have a class watch me and two students make a short stop-motion video with some school supplies, then show it to them before they create their film.




2. Have the students plan out and rehearse with the objects they will be using. You can make the objects, use manipulatives, be creative!


3. Put students in groups of 3 or 4. I find that larger groups are harder to manage around the iPad. Assign jobs for students so that everyone gets to participate in the filming of the video. Two students can take turns taking each picture, and the other two can move the objects just a little bit for each frame.


IMG_01694. I have supervised groups in second and third grade, but fifth grade students can film independently once you show them how it is done. My students loved using dollar store lighting and colored cellophane paper.



5. Use a stable support so the device does not move while students are filming! I learned this the hard way: I thought it wouldn’t be hard for third graders to keep the iPad still. I was wrong, see these videos. It was a good first try, but I had to find a way to keep the iPad stable while they were taking each frame. These math videos are much better, we placed the iPad on top of a wire shelf held up by two stools. Students place their objects on a piece of construction paper on the floor.


Are you creating stop-motion videos with your students? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks below!

Amy Traggianese is an elementary visual arts educator and has been an art essentialist at a Connecticut Higher Order Thinking (HOT) School since 2001. A former kindergarten and first grade teacher, she has over 25 years of arts integration experience. Amy specializes in integrating language arts, math, science and technology into the art curriculum. She presents at local and national conferences and at HOT School Summer Institutes. Amy is also an active educator voice on Twitter, helps to facilitate #CTedu on Tuesday nights, and loves to connect with other educators through social media.


  1. Gwen January 21, 2016 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Awesome idea with the Base 10 blocks. I can see a way to integrate the Principles of Art by starting with a a single hundred block and making it move a bit, then replacing it with a 10 tens bars, which move around to create rhythm, emphasis, unity, etc.. then replacing five of those with ones to create patterns, contract, balance, etc.

  2. Amy Traggianese January 21, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your comment, Gwen, you have great ideas! I must confess: some of the Base 10 block videos were a bit rushed and we ran out of time to be creative at the end of the video. I wanted to have the students move them around and out of the frame. I actually have one more to do, I hope to get it done next week. I’ll post to YouTube when it is completed.

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