Kindergarten Digital Storytelling Project: Stop-Motion Animation Adaptations of Children's Books

TOOLS: KomaKoma,  iPad or iPhone, iPad stand (can be a fancy one or an improvised stack of books taped to a chair!), video editing software (iMovie or Final Cut), simple manipulative materials for animation (articulating puppets, blocks, 2D collage materials, or sculpey clay), USB microphone, audio editing software (Garage Band)

MA Arts Curriculum Framework (Drama):

STANDARD 1 Acting Students will develop acting skills to portray characters who interact in improvised and scripted scenes.

STANDARD 2 Reading and Writing Scripts Students will read, analyze, and write dramatic material.

Guided Concepts & Benchmarks for Students:

  • Understanding fundamental parts of a story (characters, plot, & setting)
  • Adaptation allows for manipulation or substitution of these elements while maintaining a story's original narrative
  • Gaining comfort with dramatic voice through collaborative script writing and recorded delivery
  • Exposure to how animation is composed through a series of still, slightly changing photographs


1) Introduce storybook to children. Ask about how characters are feeling throughout the story, discuss how the setting impacts both the plot and characters.

2) Ask the students, "What if this story took place somewhere else (underwater, in the desert, in outer space, etc.)?" 

3) Help students list charactersplot, and setting together.

4) Decide upon a *new* setting (I usually do this via blind voting, therefore the decisions keep rolling and students feel the process is fair). Students can construct materials/puppets in order to fit their new story! 

5) Over several sessions, lead the students in small groups to capture voice recordings and stop-motion animated scenes. 

6) Invite your school community to come view the final product: Host a Kindergarten Film Festival! 

Student Work Examples:

Kindergarten stop-motion film adaptation of "Manuelo the Playing Mantis" by Don Freeman.

Kindergarten stop-motion film adaptation of "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson.
Kindergarten stop-motion film adaptation of "Slowly Slowly Slowly Said the Sloth" by Eric Carle.
Kindergarten stop-motion film adaptation of the traditional West African folktale "Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock".