“Get out the vote” with Keynote Animations and Builds

The story of Democracy includes the story of civic participation. History and government teachers always emphasize the importance and process of voting.  Even if students are not yet of voting age, election “season” provides a lesson opportunity for student involvement in “getting out the vote.” Using historic primary sources (or their own photos), they can encourage parents, caregivers and friends to vote by creating and sharing animated reminders.

I mentor in the Teaching with Primary Sources Teachers Network and share ideas for using primary sources. For example, as part of a history lesson, students might research copyright free images from historic archives and update them for today by drawing or animating to share a message. Keynote provides an array of animation choices and a drawing tool that can be applied to still images.

And by reminding adults to vote, students might gear up to participate in the election process when they are old enough to vote.  That’s a “learning win” for history and government teachers!

Here are a couple of examples created on iPad.

Shirley Chisholm - Library of Congress
Shirley Chisholm - Library of Congress
  My Process:

  • My animated GIF of Shirley Chisholm starts with her image in the Library of Congress - https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003688123/ and  a photo of the United States Capitol. Both images were added to Photos on iPad.
  • For a visual effects, I brought the primary source image into Clips as a photo, selected Effects/Filter (I used Watercolor) took a screenshot of the image, and saved back to Photos.
  • Next I added the image to a Keynote slide, used Instant Alpha to remove background, then traced around  edge of the image with Drawing. I Screenshot, the "cut out" image and brought it back into Keynote, then used Instant Alpha to remove the drawing. I added a splotch of color (by drawing) behind the now isolated image.
  • I added an image of the Capitol and used Edit Mask in Keynote to size and crop and copy/paste it so that the Capitol picture became two images. I tapped each half of the Capitol to Animate with Build in/Flip
  • I added a famous quote by Shirley Chisholm as Text, tapped to Animate with Build in/Keyboard.
  • I added the Word "Vote" and used Text Character Style for a red outline and animated with Build in/Sparkle.
  • Then I exported Keynote as Animated Gif and saved to Photos for further sharing and voting inspiration from the past!

Video of animated gif

  The Youth Vote 

The Youth Vote - Library of Congress
The Youth Vote - Library of Congress
Beautify America - - Register and Vote (Library of Congress -  https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016648055/ ). This poster, in the Library of Congress, was created in 1971 to get out the Youth Vote in New York. 

My process:

  • I downloaded and added a primary source poster from 1971 from the Library of Congress to Photos.
  • Next I added the image to Keynote, and duplicated the slide.
  • I isolated the blue and red stars from the poster by using Instant Alpha and Shapes (color white) to cover up the words, then I took a screenshot of the stars and added it to Photos.  I also added the stars screenshot back to Keynote and used Instant Alpha to remove white background.
  • In Photos I turned the stars to black & white by editing the screenshot and changing the color to Mono.
  • I added the "Mono" stars to Keynote and used Arrange to put them under the blue and red stars.
  • Then I Animated the blue and red stars with Build in/Shimmer.
  • I used Drawing to color in the flowers and  Animated the flower drawing with Build in/Line Draw.
  • I finished up by exporting Keynote as Animated Gif and saved to Photos for further sharing

Video of animated gif

Engage and involve, no extra tools - just Keynote on  iPad. Your students will come up with creative vote reminders and learn about history and government in the process. 

All Replies

Posted on October 21, 2022

Love this idea, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing your workflow for creating each animated image. I love that you always encourage educators to check out the wonderful primary sources that the Library of Congress website has to offer.

Posted on October 22, 2022

A very important message to share. I love how you have shared your workflow, this makes it really easy to access. I will certainly be sharing this with the teachers I work with.

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