A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

June 18, 2021
by Jean

A creative finish to FDLT Year 1!

making of stop motion animationsThis week our FDLT year 1 students reached the end of their first year at university. It was great to be able to welcome them back to Devonshire Place and the Waterside Campus, Northampton to work face to face making stop motion animations. As you can see from the animations on the Padlet below they worked creatively and co-operatively to explore this approach and produced some great results. For many of them it was the first time they had made animations.

We used the app StopMotionStudio and there is potential for the animations to be opened in iMovie so sound effects, dialogue and music could be added – most of us did not have time to do this in the session! 

As you can see from the photos here the students have great skills of making, measuring and improvising. This is what makes them such great supporters of learning back in school.

We wish them all a restful and enjoyable summer so that they will be ready for FDLT year 2 in September!

Made with Padlet

May 18, 2018
by Jean

Exploring stop motion animation

Recently the FDLT Year 1 students have been learning about stop motion animation and exploring how this might support and inspire learning. Students chose an idea and planned and made a short animation to explain it.

You can watch all the animations here:


June 12, 2017
by Jean

Stop motion animation

Last week Sophie Burrows, from Into Film, came to work with the FDLT year 1 groups to introduce stop motion animation as a technique for engaging learners.

Sophie introduced the group to the basic principles that underpin stop motion animation: persistence of vision. We looked the work of Eadweard Muybridge, an early pioneer of photographic and moving image projection. We also looked at making thaumotropes as an easy way into to demonstrating this concept to children. You can read more about this and other optical toys here: thaumotropes.

Sophie introduced us to three types of stop motion animation:

  1. paper cut
  2. silhouette (using a light box)
  3. claymation (using plasticine)

and the free app Stop Motion Studio. After playing a little with app to explore its functions the students worked in groups to make a short animation using any of the techniques above. They then edited the films using the app iMovie which gave them the opportunity to add sound and music.

Making stop motion animations draws upon a huge range of skills, knowledge and understanding and can be a great opportunity to plan meaningful and engaging learning opportunities across the curriculum for learners. Here’s a padlet of examples to get you thinking!

April 29, 2016
by Jean

Animating science!

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

This week the FDLT Y1 group at Park Campus worked with Sophie Burrows, from IntoFilm, to make short stop motion animations. In the module they have been developing their science subject knowledge so they each chose a science idea to represent in their animated films. Sophie introduced them to the ‘persistence of vision’ that underlies the process of stop motion animation and to the app iMotion, which we used with iPads.

Before beginning to film there was a huge amount of research, planning, designing and making. Students created paper and plasticine models and backgrounds and used resources from the University School Experience library in their IMG_0481preparation. We were in the Pytchley room so we had the additional benefit of being able to use the white board wall as part of the background – students were able to draw and write on it and use this within their film-making.

We were lucky that other tutors came along to help, as learning this process can be quite demanding so I was grateful that Wendy Yarnall and Abbie Deeming were around to help. Later in the session, as the animations were completed students exported them into an editing app called iMovie. Sophie was able to demonstrate how to add titles, sounds and music and repeat within the films before we added them to a YouTube channel.

You can see the animations that the students created here:

This was the first time that the students had used this process and even this quite rapid introduction has equipped them trying this with their pupils in school. IntoFilm support film making and Film Cubs in schools and they can be contacted here.

You can read research about using animation in learning and teacher here:

Fleer, M. and Hoban, G. (2012) Using ‘Slowmation’ for intentional teaching in early childhood centres: Possibilities and imaginings.
Australasian Journal of Early ChildhoodVol.37(3), p.61-70.

Hoban, G. and Neilsen, W. (2014) Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol.42, p.68-79.

Pugh, S. (2013) Stop motion animation as an innovative approach to engagement and collaboration in the classroom. The Student Researcher. Vol 2. No 2. pp109-120.

Reid, D., Reid, E. and Ostashewski, N. (2013) Combining iPads and slowmation: Developing digital storytellers in an early learning environment. World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1539–1543.