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Footloose and Flipping Free

Grade Level: 4 - 6

Purpose:

To demonstrate how simple parts build into a program.

Materials:

15-20 blank cards
Crayons, markers, pencils, pens
Ruler
Scissors
Scratch paper
One heavy-duty stapler
Examples of flipbooks, if available

Procedure:

1. Demonstrate a flipbook.

2. Have each student draw a picture that can be easily re- produced and will involve movement. Examples would be rising sun, person walking, a bouncing ball, something blowing in the wind. Or have them make a background that changes and draw another figure that is always drawn in the same spot.

3. Drawing in the same spot and with the same shape may be difficult. Have students make a template and suggest they use a ruler to measure how far the objects move from page to page.

4. Trim the front pages in the series (flipbooks are easier to flip if their front pages are a little shorter than the back ones).

5. Staple all the cards together on the left side. Make sure they're in the right order!

6. Hold the spine with your left hand and release the pages with the right thumb. Vary the speed with which you flip through the pages. How does the picture's movement change?

Follow-Up:

Flipbooks show some basic principles built into any computer program. A task is broken into parts and the parts must be sequenced in an exact order to work as designed. This also shows the flexibility and limitations of computers. You can look at each frame separately, or in selected combinations, or as a whole. But you're limited to one "program", you can't see another object because you did not draw it in. Computers will only show what we have built into them.

More...

Flipbooks are also a great place to begin lessons on animation, creating motion from still pictures. Use examples of computer animation (look for the video in the Future Computers Exhibit), cartoons, single frames from an animated Disney movie. Stretch the students' artistic and creative talents be making animated flipbook stories.