Art and Design KS2: Stop-motion Animation

Presenter Naomi Wilkinson visits an animation studio and shows us how to create our own stop-motion animation.

When we watch animations, we might not always consider the work that has gone into creating the piece.

Animators use drawings, 3D models and everyday objects in their creations and stop-motion is an extremely accessible form of animation, for animators of all abilities and ages.

We meet Nush Kishani Naanayakkara, BAFTA-winning animation director, or as we call her, master animator.

Nush demonstrates how to plan and create a stop-motion animation.

She photographs inanimate objects as starting points for a simple stop-motion animation, and she shows how we can bring character to everyday objects using movement and sound.

Naomi and a group of children take on the challenge and working as a group they create a stop-motion animation of their own.

We see the result of their work and the short stop-motion animation they create.

This short film is from the BBC series, Get Creative.

Teacher Notes

Before Watching

Ask pupils to reflect on animations that they have seen and how they think animations are usually created.

Discuss what elements an animation usually has in it (i.e. a narrative or story and characters), making links to literacy knowledge.

You could ask your pupils to research and sketch some images of their favourite animated characters, exploring what the drawing (or model) of the characters tells us about their personality.

Discuss how animators use clothes, facial expressions and body language to show how a character is feeling and to convey a personality.

After Watching

Ask pupils to have a look at the options of everyday objects available to them and discuss the personality traits they would attribute to the items and why.

Have pupils work in small groups or pairs to move and photograph the objects.

Ensure the children move the objects in a way that will create a sense of motion when viewed as a finished sequence in the animation. This might take a little practise and trial and error.

Remind the children that this is part of the creative process.

Finally record sound to add real character to your story.

Master Skill

Turning an everyday object into a ‘Thinking character’.

Thinking Questions

  • How do animators show the personality of characters in their animations?
  • How can you re-imagine everyday objects, making them into characters that have personalities?
  • What does the term anthropomorphize mean and why is it relevant to our work today?
  • What is the narrative in your animation?

Supported Learning and SEN

As essentially a photographic activity this challenge is accessible to children who have difficulties with traditional drawing and painting.

If appropriate you may want to create groups of children with mixed abilities to carry out the activities, these groups may be working with or without adult support.

It might be useful to make a collection of potential objects for use beforehand, some children might find it helpful to explore the character development potential of a few objects before deciding on one for their animation.

Extend This Project

You could work on this over a number of lessons; first writing a short story or a sketching a visual storyboard then moving to the stop motion part of the challenge.

Instead of animating inanimate objects you could spend a few lessons modelling characters out of modelling clay, with a focus on how to form and join 3D shapes (check out the Cake Sculpture episode of Get Creative for some tips on how to do this).

In a music lesson, children could even write their own musical score for their animation.

You could also use this challenge to lead on from the Write Song Lyrics challenge from Get Creative and create animated videos to accompany the songs the children have written.

Curriculum Notes

This short film meets and extends the current national curriculum requirements for art and design at KS1 and KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland.

The film and lesson ideas will engage, inspire and challenge your pupils to explore their own ideas and produce creative work.

The film introduces children to high quality skills and knowledge in art and design. The challenge set supports children in becoming proficient in techniques including, but not limited to, drawing, painting and sculpture.

Through this series, pupils will be introduced to and inspired by a range of artists, craftspeople and designers, they will experiment, invent and create work that links to the work of professional creatives.

More from Get Creative (Art and Design):

Cake Sculptures
Product Design
Costume Design