While art forms such as film and video may seem beyond the reach of young students, there are some simple ways to introduce movement into drawing in an effort to show kids how image movement works.

  1. Have students look at the Keith Haring website and its terrific example of a simple animation in motion, and explain the idea to them aloud.
  2. Ask students to think of a simple movement that they would like to portray, such as:
    A boy doing jumping jacks?
    Two people running toward each other?
    A cat chasing a bird?
    An erupting volcano?
  3. Provide students with small pads of paper (or a pile of sheets of paper, all the same size, which they can tape or staple together at the top to make a pad) to use as their "film." 
  4. To make a picture look like it's moving, it's necessary to draw the same thing, but with a little change on each page to indicate the movement. Ask students to start with the very beginning image, and plan its movement, but to draw the movement in small additions, one page at a time.
  5. Tell students to keep drawing until the movement is complete. 
  6. Once the "story" is mapped out, ask students to thumb-flip the pad forward and backward to show their own mini-movies.

Variation: The thaumatrope is an early form of a type of overlapping animation. It is a disc with an image on each side; when you spin it, the two images blend and seem to become one image. To learn how to make one, visit Britain's Museum of Childhood website. A simple thaumatrope can be made with two related images, glued back-to-back, and then mounted on the top of a stick, pencil, or pen.