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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Hewett

Classroom Ideas – Making GIFs


The other week I made a felt model of your typical stratovolcano to be used by learners during our dangerous world topic which you can see here. There are description cards and labels to go with the model to create a classroom teaching activity.

I then got thinking about other models I could make to demonstrate either features of a landform or the process of formation. Of course I asked twitter and got a few ideas I hadn’t already thought of.

Considering what else I can make with felt to aid teaching, perhaps tsunami formation? Any ideas #geographyteacher s? pic.twitter.com/rE15jJO7Bm — Mrs Humanities (@MrsHumanities) July 30, 2015

So I went out and bought some more felt and proceeded to make a model to show the formation of a waterfall to support my learners in the rivers topic this year. Of course I got carried away and made my first attempt at making a stop motion video, which personally I think worked out quite well.


waterfall GIF

It was really easy to create, I used the app ‘Stop Motion Studio‘ which simply involves you moving small aspects of your scene and snapping a photo of it. However you can see from my video that making sure you take the photo at the same height and angle is important (although I also think it gives it a DIY lo when it isn’t). Next you need to play around with the Movie Speed to work out the appropriate frames per second; I played with this a few times before getting it about right. And then you simply save it in a GIF format. Done.

You can pay for add-ons but they are not necessary to make a basic stop motion GIF.

Since it was very easy and somewhat rather fun, I started thinking about ways of using it in class. In particular it got me thinking about how I could use this activity to develop learners understanding of the formation process of a variety of geographical features. I’ve decided that I will use it as a teaching resource, firstly my learners will use the pieces of felt to put the  model together, there are then a variety of routes we could go down. I’m thinking I’ll probably get them to then add the labels to the images and we’ll take a photo, then they will organise description cards to demonstrate the formation process. Once successful they will then use the school iPads to create their own short stop motion video which we can turn into a GIF. Perfect.

How could you use the idea in your subject? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.


Mrs Humanities
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