1st Grade Fun with OSnap! the Stop Motion App
Type of technology: iPad app, OSnap!
Grade Level: All grades
Subject Area: All subjects
Creativity! Innovation! Technology! MakerSpace! Design! These buzzwords are flying around the education world so I’m here to tell you about a hands-on activity you can do with your classroom(no matter what subject or grade you teach) that will integrate all these concepts. The answer is stop motion movie making. Be ready to learn alongside your students and be inspired by their creativity. I’m a new 1st grade teacher this year but I tried this out with 80 1st graders last year they loved it! Hopefully you are inspired to give this a try.
To get started, you need to get your hands on about 3 iPads (to use in a small group of 6 students), I have students work in pairs or groups of 3 maximum. A class set of iPads would be ideal so you could carry out this activity whole group. Then, download the app. I’ve only used OSnap ($3.99 at the appstore), which is easy to use and kid friendly. I use the free version of OSnap! but keep in mind they only allow you to store 2 projects at at a time. However, you can move them to your Camera Roll and delete them from the app.
Set up a buffet of materials for kids to build with and create. Grab legos, blocks, math manipulatives, scrap paper, toilet paper rolls, colored pens, and tape. Leave out large pieces of construction paper or cardboard boxes for students to use as background and to set the stage for their movie.
Show your students how to make a simple movie before you set them free. I set my iPad on a stand and mirrored my screen on our large TV so students in the back could get a good look as I made a very short simple movie. In the video I modeled, a little math bear manipulative appeared to walk across the screen. I showed them taking a photo, moving the bear a little, taking another photo, moving the bear a little more, and repeating this until the bear had made it across the screen and out of the camera range. Like magic, the app linked all the frames together into a movie. Showing them this was all it took to get their imaginations going and then they were coloring, cutting, gluing, snapping frames, planning, and collaborating nonstop for 40 minutes. It was so fun seeing their ideas come to life and learn alongside them.
I am hoping to try this out soon with my own 1st grade classroom soon and integrate reading, spelling, or those hard to memorize sight words. Ideas are endless of what they could create. Have your students teach a new spelling pattern or demonstrate the water cycle using claymation. Here’s a link to a stop motion video demonstrating a dog’s digestive system.
After returning from the VCOE workshop, I was inspired and ready to try stop motion with my students and made my first ever stop motion movie just in time for my mom’s birthday. I used a piece of construction paper for the background, Play Dough, wood blocks, and some pipe cleaners. The project took hours but it was fun to do and at least my mom loved it. I learned a lot from trying it out on my own such as the importance of keeping the camera in the same place and taking lots of frames to make movement look more realistic. Hopefully your iPad cases have a stand or or you can challenge students to make their own stands out of Lego.
I adored learning about this tool for learning and sharing. Hope you enjoy seeing your student’s videos and feel free to share them in the comments below!