Teacher’s Brain

Stop Motion Animation Activities To Encourage A Love of Creative Writing

One of the most universally loved things right now is Disney movies. Frozen, Luca, Encanto… parents and kids alike love these movies. Which makes sense! The animation capabilities of these Disney creators are incredibly impressive. 

Since it is something students love so much, naturally, I tried to think of ways to make it educational so they can enjoy it in the classroom as well. I found that stop-motion animation is a great introduction to animated movies and the enormous amount of skill, creativity, dedication, and art that goes into each movie. 

It all starts with a good story! I found this way of approaching narrative, creative writing to be an extremely effective way to hook students into the concept because they want to create their own masterpieces. 

With that in mind, I created a winter resource that will teach students about animation from a REAL Disney animator. How cool is that?! 

This Stop Motion Animation Creative Writing three week unit is jam-packed with activities to get your students fully engaged in the creative process. 

stop motion animation

The focus of this resource is creative narrative writing through the integration of beginning animation concepts. The real Disney animator will get your students inspired and get those creative juices flowing. 

The Animator Spotlight and Animator Interview will teach students everything they need to know to complete an animator study report. 

stop motion animation

Teaching students about short animation will help them better understand sequencing events and how to make their own creative endings. After that, students can use the printables provided to design their own book covers! 

You’ll get everything you need with this resource. This includes lined paper along with writing toppers to make displaying your students’ work in your classroom easy and cute. 

stop motion animation

In addition to these activities, you’ll also get narrative writing choice boards, narrative lead ideas, creative writing story elements, a snowman flip book, and so much more. Furthermore, the stop motion animation directions will teach you how to create an animation with your students easily with tools you already have. 

I included lots of extras with this resource for centers like the snowman drawing instructions and comprehension checks. 

Interested in learning more? Check out my video here! 

Looking for more winter activities? Check out these Winter Olympics activities!stop motion animation

 


 

The Best Winter Writing Activities For Elementary

Around the holidays, I usually like to try and come up with some really unique holiday or winter writing activities that will be different from the stuff that students have become used to. Adding in a variety of lessons, crafts, and activities never fails to get students excited and engaged in our writing practice. 

With many teachers and students still learning virtually this year, I have been thinking about winter writing activities that students can get really engaged with whether they are learning in person or online. 

winter writing activities

This Trapped In A Snow Globe writing activity has to be my favorite this year! 

Students will get to create a photo of them trapped in a snow globe and write about it. It comes with 14 background slides to choose from and 4 slides of movable parts to add. Just choose a background, palace a picture of your student “trapped”, and then add your accessories! 

After that, there are 6 slides for students to brainstorm, organize thoughts, and write a story about their snow globe. What I love about this is that it is designed for distance learning so you can easily add gifs in place of photos. 

You’ll also get black and white slides for students to digitally or handwrite their stories. You can choose from narrative, persuasive, or opinion writing. You’ll get 4 writing prompts to choose from or 2 pages that are left blank so you can create your own prompt. 

There is also a Google Form so you can do a “Favorite Design Contest” with your students! 

Step 1. Choose a background

winter writing activity

Step 2. Add your photo or gif

winter writing activity

Step 3. Add your accessories

winter writing activities

Step 4. Write about it! 

winter writing activities

Afterward, you can create a slideshow with music that includes all of your students’ creations! 

Another fun twist to this activity is that students can all trap the teacher! Add your photo to each of their designs and they can write about how you got trapped. 

Check out the video here

What are your favorite winter writing activities? Let me know in the comments!


 

Memorial Day Activities For Elementary

While some students may just see Memorial Day as a day off from school, it is a great time to teach them about Memorial Day and why we celebrate it. It is important for them to know about those who gave their lives while serving our country. 

Here are some ways you can teach elementary students about Memorial Day in your classroom.

  1. Start by giving them the definition. It seems simple, but this is something that not a lot of students know or understand. 
  2. Read a book about the holiday. Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden and Raul Colon is a great book written by the First Lady. 
  3. Write a letter to a hero. If your students have any friends or family members that served they can write a letter to them. For other students you can have them write a letter to hero you select for them. This is a great way to give students perspective and a chance to express their gratitude. 
  4. Discuss the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day we celebrate those still living who served our country, on Memorial Day we celebrate those we lost. 

My Memorial Day Writing Activity is the perfect addition to your lesson!

Memorial Day

 Perfect for students in first through third grade, you’ll get a variety of writing activities. 

Included with this resource, you’ll get 

  • an informational sheet about the holiday
  • acrostic poems with self rating systems
  • Home of the Free Because of the Brave printable
  • Informational writing planning page
  • Informational writing page
  • Thank you, Hero Letter
  • Thank You Letter
  • Posters for students to fill out
  • Poster about informative writing
  • Transitional words and phrases list
  • Word wall words
  • Rubric

You’ll get everything you need to get your students engaged in learning about our American heroes.

memorial day

Looking for more teaching activities for May? Check out Mother’s Day ideas here! 


 

Wow! Teaching How to Write a Personal Narrative Just Got EASY!

Looking for a super simple way to teach students how to write a personal narrative? I have you covered!

After struggling with teaching how to write personal narratives on my own in the classroom, I wrote the entire week process down following the I DO, WE DO, YOU DO method. Then, I made a video for students to walk them step-by-step through the process of how to write their own narrative that not only is engaging to readers, but also sets a foundation for future writing.  My favorite GO-TO resource is Google Slides.  I love that they are interactive with movable parts, colorful, easy for virtual teaching and that I can also add black and white printables for print and go in-person teaching.  Teaching Narrative Writing

The 60 slide Narrative Writing Unit Download Covers:

  • 1 Week Suggested Plan (I DO, WE DO, YOU DO)
  • Video Tutorial for Students > Have you heard of a POTATO CHIP Beginning? (SEE THE VIDEO HERE)
  • 7 POSTERS
  • REMINDER Checklist for Students
  • Optional Choice Board
  • Example of Writing to Share with Students
  • Colorful Digital Slides to share Virtually or on an Overhead that includes:

    > Brainstorming Options
> Story Maps or Storyboard Choices
> Writing (ROUGH DRAFTS to PUBLISHING)
> A Rubric

  • BLACK and WHITE Ink-Saving Option Included

There is 60 Google Slides total. Some colorful with editing text boxes and movable parts for virtual learning. The process walks students through brainstorming for a mini moment to write about, to a published narrative writing piece.

Rough Draft Personal Narrative

Introductions

If you have not heard of a POTATO CHIP BEGINNING, your kids will love using these ideas to make the reader want MORE!

Writing an Introduction

Watch the video tutorial on YouTube:

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