Okay, now that we have that out of the way...
I had the pleasure of working with a small team of 1st-grade students in my district a week ago. My awesome team of 1st-grade teachers asked if I could work with a small group of advanced students to extend their learning during their ELA block/ pets unit. We decided to create stop-motion videos using the app "Stop Motion Studio" as it was both free and simple to use. Check out the video below of some of their work-time and early products!
1. Have a focused plan for creating the story and simple tools for character creation. I thought I was pretty smart having story boards and construction paper ready to go so students just had to create the Characters, Setting and 'What Happened". I quickly learned that too much freedom aka "Just make a story about pets" can be overwhelming and time consuming with pairs of 1st grade students. After day 1 where most students had about 1 box of the story board completed and maybe 1 character cut out I quickly jumped to a team based approach at writing a story they could all create in their own way and THIS PAGE for characters that were already pre-created.
2. Onion skins are a must! What is an onion skin you say? When taking a photo with a stop-motion app most programs allow you to leave behind a translucent image of the last photo you took called an overlay or onion skin. Since you are trying to have minor changes between images that when glued together give the idea of movement, you can easily see how far your visuals move by comparing them to the onion skin left behind. As you could see by our videos the students needed to refer to these more often as the videos were very jumpy. (2B Could also be have a steady IPad/tripod so those onion skins are easier to find!)