Stop motion videos are very fun to make and a great way to tell stories, especially when fantastic or magical things happen in the story.
The Concept:

Illustrate and animate a story through a series of quick photographs

The Applications:
Book Reports
Reading Comprehension - Plot, Sequencing, Cause/Effect
Math - Money (Real World Problem Solving), Geometric Transformations
Demonstrate Scientific Concepts - Water Cycle, Metamorphosis/Life Cycle
Historical Reenactments - Movement of troops across Europe during WWII, Civil War Battles, A
Day in the Life of the Seminole Indians

The Hows:
Prerequisite skills: Familiarity with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie and taking/importing digital photography
  • The Storyboard - Before beginning to take photos, craft the plot of your story. It takes 8-10 pictures per second of final video. If you are planning to have voiceovers or match musical cues, keep this in mind during the planning phase.
  • The Props - Have your props ready. Props can be as simple as action figures, printed pictures, Practice with their movement. The bigger the movements between pictures, the faster the objects will appear to be moving.
    • A great Web 2.0 App for students to practice on can be found at Toy Theater.
  • The Photos - Use a tripod to keep the camera set on the “stage.” Capture the images you’ll need for your movie. Be sure to make sure all hands are out of the shot before you take it.
  • The Editing - Import your photos into Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Do not add effects to or transitions between each of the photos. Titles and transitions can be added between scenes as desired. Have students save their work often. At least every ten minutes.
    Windows Movie Maker - Before dragging your photos into the timeline, go to Tools > Options. Change the Picture Duration to 0.125. This will automatically apply to all of the photos in your animation.
    iMovie - After placing your photos in the time line, use shift, command, or control to select all of the stop motion photos. While they are all selected, click on the gear in the bottom left corner of one of the photos and choose “clip adjustments.” Change the duration to 0.1 seconds.
  • Music or Voice-overs - Do this last, once the images have been placed together and the timing is right. Music can be imported and added to the timeline. Use either a built-in or external microphone to record voice-overs or narration. Click the spot in the timeline you’d like to record over and then follow the directions below.
    Windows Movie Maker - Go to Tools > Narrate Timeline.
    iMovie - Click the microphone at the center of the screen to record voice-overs.
  • Save as a movie file and share with the world!

For a little inspiration, watch and read about the making of the music video for Strawberry Swing by Coldplay.