Tech application for making a story out of hand-carved critters?

I have some kids who want to make a story with their little clay creatures. They want to use photos of their creatures on various backgounds, with narration and music. They're inclined to use iMovie. I told them I'd ask my teacher network. Does this sound workable, or shall I guide them to other applications?

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iMovie will work just fine if you are doing this as a type of photo story. I have been creating digital photo stories with teachers and students for a while now and have used both iMovie and PhotoStory3 (PC). If you want to try something on PC, you can use PhotoStory3( a free download from Microsoft). It is a bit easier to use but has a few less features as well. We use both in our district and they have been successful. Good Luck!
Check out Digital Storytelling! This is a good resource from David Jakes, though there are many others:

We are having some good success with iMovie. On XP machines, Microsoft's free Photo Story 3 is also a very good program.
How involved do you want the project to be?

Check out this free claymation/stopmotion software that I am starting to use with my sixth graders.
We use it with MovieMaker (although you will need to prob download a Codec to import into MM --

I am not sure about Mac applications.

In the past, I have used MovieMaker with still images, and voice narration. This is a great collaboration project between sixth and second graders.
Here are some examples from last year:

I also created this site a few years ago for others to use:

Hope that helps.
I'll second the vote for StopMotion Animator. We've used it to make animations using little Lego people and it's not bad at all. When you consider it's free, it's even better.
Kevin - thanks for sharing. Would you mind if I used your links as examples for a class I am doing for teachers this summer on projects with digital images?
Wow, thanks, Technomentor, Daniel, and Kevin. Not only did you give me great suggestions, but I can use your postings in my class, as a demonstration of how a learning network can go.

Just did. We looked at all the answers on the SmartBoard screen. The kids are geeked. We're going to investigate the sites you recommended.

This seems like a powerful use of this website, at least for me. I'm very grateful. How wonderful to be connected this way as educators!
There are some resources out there, so it looks do-able. Check this one out.
That is the site of my friend, Tonya, from the National Writing Project. She has provided generous amounts of resources and inspiration over the last year.
I've done a bunch of claymation projects with my students using just photos and iMovie. It is defitiely workable. The kids use empty cardboard boxes for their set, which they decorate. They use fishing line (sometimes) to manipulate their figures. I guess there is better software for this out there, but iMovie works for us. I don't have any examples at home, but I'll attach one tomorrow when I get to school.
What a fantastic set of references and comments--
Thanks to one and all for the resources. My class is compiling all the suggestions, as a bookmark folder for exploration and experimentation. We feel rich, wealthy, well-stocked with excellent ideas. This is bliss!
Right now we're moving ahead with iMovie. I also bought "Frames" to try. If anyone has used that, comments would be appreciated.
Hi Connie,
I attached one of the claymation movies my kids did. We used digital photos and iMovie. It gets a little violent at the end - 8th graders - sorry about that.
My high school classes have done several of these over the years. I won't send the latest one, as the subject matter may be too adult for younger students - an extra-marital affair involving Lego people, if you can believe it! Tastefully, and hilariously, done by a 12th grader. Although we use Adobe Premiere, I don't think the software is essential to the success of the project. What continues to surprise students, in spite of my warnings, is how many photos are needed for a very short video. They quickly learn how to make each frame count; by running the video backwards, a group of photos can be used more than once.
If you haven't done so already, let me suggest signing up for Jake Ludington's free newsletters (Jake Ludington's Media Blab)- go to to register. Some of his recent topics have included creating video titles from still images and adding i-Tunes music to Windows Movie Maker projects.



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