Forces at Play: Animated Star Journeys

Following the Montessori Curriculum, students in second grade learn about the creation of the universe, specifically the general laws affecting order in the universe. Throughout several lessons, students complete a hands-on experiment and then showcase their knowledge and understanding through animation on Keynote. Finally, they provide a short explanation through iMovie. 

First, students complete an experiment with iron filings on a paper plate, and a magnet underneath, showcasing the force of attraction. This experiment symbolizes how wandering particles felt attracted to one another during the creation of the universe, and ultimately formed galaxies. In these galaxies, particles that were near one another joined more closely to become stars, united by a force of attraction.

For a follow-up on this activity, students are taught how to animate in Keynote. Using a blank slide, students are asked to add yellow circles to the screen (anywhere from 8-12). These circles represent particles. Then, they animate the particles (action: motion path) so they all come together in one spot. Students are then taught how to change the build order so that all the particles move at the same time. On the second slide, they place a star in the same spot where all the circles met on the previous page. Finally, students change the background color of both slides to black. I very intentionally saved this part for last, as if it’s done first when students add a new shape, it automatically generates as black, and this can get “lost” on students' pages easily if the background is already black. 


The results looked something like this:


The next step will be for students to export the video, and then use it in iMovie! Each student will record a video of themselves explaining what’s happening in their animation movie, and we will input it as a picture-in-picture. Time permitting, students will add a title and music as well!

Happy learning!


All Comments

Posted on January 29, 2024

That's a great use of Keynote animation, simple yet effective! Thanks for the sharing.

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