Many teachers in the country are in the same boat right now. We are all searching for ways to engage and motivate our students from afar. Not an easy task!
My own principal keeps reminding us to focus on quality over quantity. Every assignment has to be worth the time to complete it (for the student) and to grade it (for the teacher). It must be both rich in learning and obtainable for students who have less support at home.
That is why I love this particular assignment idea so much – it does all these things and is adaptable to just about any subject.
Challenge your students to create an animated gif of what they are learning! It is so easy to do! Students can make an animation of any process or event. It can be as long or short as you would like.
Here are just a few possibilities (from a science-teacher brain! But hopefully can inspire you in your own subject area!):
- Process of mitosis or meiosis
- The water cycle (or any cycle!)
- The water cycle (any cycle!)
- Movement of blood through the heart
- How a neuron fires
- Animate a scene from a story they wrote themselves
- Create how-to instructions
- Historical event
- Scene from a novel
My students love to make animated gifs. They are a great way to demonstrate knowledge of any process or event. For example, my Biology students were tasked with choosing a cell organelle and making a gif showing the function of that organelle. They really enjoyed the project and made some amazing animations!
It is SO EASY to make a Gif with Google Slides!
Do not be intimidated! I promise it is super easy to make an animated Gif, or even a stop-motion clip. All your students need is Google Slides and the website TallTweets.
NOTE: there is a way to make a gif with ONLY Google Slides. This will be explained at the end of the post, and you will see why using TallTweets makes a far better gif for very little extra effort!
Start with a blank Google Slide presentation. Create the first scene of the gif on the first slide. The shapes tools can be useful for making simple drawings. Images from the internet can also be incorporated, as well as text.
Once the first scene is done, duplicate the slide. On the duplicate (second slide) move the items just a little bit, then duplicate the slide again. Each slide will be like a single page of a flip book – moving your animation just a bit at a time as the slides progress.
Use TallTweets to make a Gif with Google Slides
Click here to take a look at the full set of images for the bouncing ball.
When all of the slides are complete, head over to www.TallTweets.com. You won’t believe how simple this is!
Scroll down to Tall Tweets Classic and log in with the Google Account you made your Slides in. From there, choose your Slides presentation.
It may take a minute (or five!) to load your gif depending on how many slides you have – but it is worth the wait!
At this screen, you can adjust the size of your gif – I always just leave this blank. I use 0.2 or 0.3 for the number of seconds per frame. You can set this and adjust it if you prefer something faster or slower.
The bottom line allows you to select a different order for your slides, or to skip slides. Again, I leave this blank, being sure that the Google Slides already has the images I want in the proper order.
If you want to see a demonstration, here is a great video of how to use TallTweets!
After clicking the ‘Create’ button, you will see a preview of your gif! Students can download the file and share it with you from their computer, or upload it to their Google Drives and share that way.
Related: Need more ideas for eLearning? Check out Seven New Ways to Use Google Forms for student learning!
TallTweets also offers an easy to use Google Slides Add-On, which allows you to create animations right inside Google Slides. Take a look at this quick video to see how it works!
This same method can be used to make a stop-motion video! Students can take a series of photographs, adjusting manipulatives or a model a bit at a time in each photo. Then load one photo on each Google Slide. To make it even easier, photos can be taken inside Google Slides by going to Insert > Image > Camera!
Making a Google Slides Gif Without TallTweets
To make a gif with Google Slides alone, open your Slides and click on File, then Publish to Web. In the box that comes up, choose to ‘auto advance slides every second’ and then check the two boxes. When you click submit, you will get a URL which is the link to your gif!
I prefer TallTweets because the animation is so much smoother. Google Slides can not progress the slides faster than one frame per second, which makes them choppy (see below). In comparison, the TallTweets gif (click here) is moving at 0.2 seconds per slide.