Science of Curiosity

Challenge your students to create a digital project of what they are learning. It is so easy to do with animated gifs! Using Google Slides, students can make an animation of any process or event or topic!

Digital Project: Make a Gif With Google Slides

Challenge your students to create a digital project of what they are learning. It is so easy to do with animated gifs! Using Google Slides, students can make an animation of any process or event or topic!

My students love to make gifs. They are a great way to demonstrate knowledge of any process or event. For example, my Biology students were tasked with choosing a cell organelle and making a gif showing the function of that organelle. They really enjoyed the project and made some amazing animations!

Here are just a few possibilities (from a science-teacher brain! But hopefully can inspire you in your own subject area!):

  • Process of mitosis or meiosis
  • The water cycle (or any cycle!)
  • Pollination
  • Movement of blood through the heart
  • How a neuron fires
  • Animate a scene from a story they wrote themselves
  • Create how-to instructions
  • A historical event
  • A scene from a novel

Once made, students can share their digital projects with the class – a fun, creative way to learn or review topics!

It is SO EASY to make a Gif with Google Slides!

Do not be intimidated! I promise it is super easy to make an animated Gif, or even a stop-motion clip. All your students need is Google Slides and the website TallTweets.

NOTE: there is a way to make a gif with ONLY Google Slides. This will be explained at the end of the post, and you will see why using TallTweets makes a far better gif for very little extra effort!

Start with a blank Google Slide presentation. Create the first scene of the gif on the first slide. The shapes tools can be useful for making simple drawings. Images from the internet can also be incorporated, as well as text.

Here are some fun gifs made by students as part of a book project. This one uses just shapes, while this one includes a car image she got off the internet.

Once the first scene is done, duplicate the slide. On the duplicate (second slide) move the items just a little bit, then duplicate the slide again. Each slide will be like a single page of a flip book – moving your animation just a bit at a time as the slides progress.

Click here to take a look at the full set of images for the bouncing ball.

Use TallTweets to make a Gif with Google Slides

When all of the slides are complete, head over to www.TallTweets.comYou won’t believe how simple this is!

Scroll down to Tall Tweets Classic and log in with the Google Account you made your Slides in. From there, choose your Slides presentation.

It may take a minute (or five!) to load your gif depending on how many slides you have – but it is worth the wait!

At this screen, you can adjust the size of your gif – I always just leave this blank. I use 0.2 or 0.3 for the number of seconds per frame. You can set this and adjust it if you prefer something faster or slower. 

Use Talltweets for your students to make a Gif with Google Slides

The bottom line allows you to select a different order for your slides, or to skip slides. Again, I leave this blank, being sure that the Google Slides already has the images I want in the proper order.

If you want to see a demonstration, here is a great video of how to use TallTweets!

After clicking the ‘Create’ button, you will see a preview of your gif! Students can download the file and share it with you from their computer, or upload it to their Google Drives and share that way.

TallTweets also offers an easy to use Google Slides Add-On, which allows you to create animations right inside Google Slides. Take a look at this quick video to see how it works!

This same method can be used to make a stop-motion video! Students can take a series of photographs, adjusting manipulatives or a model a bit at a time in each photo. Then load one photo on each Google Slide. To make it even easier, photos can be taken inside Google Slides by going to Insert > Image > Camera!

Making a Google Slides Gif Without TallTweets

To make a gif with Google Slides alone, open your Slides and click on File, then Publish to Web. In the box that comes up, choose to ‘auto advance slides every second’ and then check the two boxes. When you click submit, you will get a URL which is the link to your gif!

Students to make a Gif with Google Slides without TallTweets

I prefer TallTweets because the animation is so much smoother. Google Slides can not progress the slides faster than one frame per second, which makes them choppy (see below). In comparison, the TallTweets gif (click here) is moving at 0.2 seconds per slide.

Pin me to save this article!

This digital project will take a few hours to a few days of work for your students, depending on the detail of the gif and their comfort level with Google Slides. It is very helpful to demonstrate how to make a sequence of slides, rather than just telling them. Make a gif that meets your standards/rubric and show the class how you did it!

What kinds of gifs can your students make? Post your ideas below to inspire other teachers!

Happy teaching!

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