Kids love illustrating their stories. Using clip art in PowerPoint is a great way to allow our young students to create complex illustrations for their writing and stories without depending on their ability to draw them. And the best part? When they’re all done, these animated storybooks actually play like a movie.

The Concept:
Illustrate and animate a narrative using custom animations and timers in PowerPoint or comparable presentation software

The Applications:
Creative Writing - Identifying Setting & Characters, Plot, Sequencing, Character Development, Dialogue, Voice
Math - Real World Problem Solving, Geometric Transformations, Equivalent Fractions
Demonstrate Scientific Concepts - Virtual Experiments, Revolution of the Planets, Water Cycle
Social Studies Concepts - Election Process, Teeth Care/Dentist, People in my Neighborhood
*Students can complete a whole story or documentary on their own or each student make one slide to combine into a class “video.”

The Hows:
Prerequisite skills: Decent spelling ability (clip art searches must be spelled correctly), Familiarity with the basics of PowerPoint (text boxes, clip art, transitions)

  • The Storyboard - Before beginning to create the animated illustrations, students should either write their rough/final drafts of their story or voice overs... or at least have a decent flow map story board or what happens in each scene.
    • Narrative stories/essays, Flow Maps or the BBC Movie-Making Guide are a great help for students during this step.
  • Create slides using the following tutorial video. You can also embed this video into your own teacher website to use with your students.
    • Have students save their work often. At least once every ten minutes.



This video and/or the step-by-step tutorials below (will be re-posted asap) can be linked/embedded into your class or school website.

TIPS:
  • Inserting clipart - All backgrounds and clipart should be inserted as movable objects. Objects that come in and out of the scene can be placed outside of the slide. Also, let students use creative problem solving to "crop" clip art to get one piece of a larger picture.
  • Custom Animations - When creating the animations, instead of using “after previous,” set all animations to happen at the same time and then use the time delay to make them happen over the span of the slide. If you don’t do this, the animations won’t run at the same time as the narration after they are recorded.


Visit our class website to see several more samples, like:
A Retelling of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” by a 4th Grader
Animated Commercial integrating Excel Graph by a 3rd Grader
Science Experiment Demo
And for some mind-blowing inspiration, check out some of the work at the PowerPoint Heaven website!

Video Tutorials - To use with your students or embed into your own site!
Full Video
Part 1: Intro & Samples
Part 2: Getting Started: Background and Clip Art
Part 3: Adding Custom Animations
Part 4: Adding Text
Part 5: Recording Narration
Part 6: Setting Automatic Timers