Friday, August 29, 2014


Students will learn about early animation and thaumatropes.

Watch this video that contains examples of thaumatropes (1 minute):

Integrate art, math, science, as well as history by constructing a thaumatrope! Kids use their measuring skills and imagination to create a paper animation! "Thaumatropes are optical illusions that operate by switching between two images so rapidly that the images appear as one." - Molecular Expressions. 

How to incorporate in your classroom:
Geometry - Have kids figure out the area of their circle or rectangle, as well as circumference and perimeter. You could also have them try making different shapes for their thaumatrope besides the basic circle, rectangle, or square.

Science - Create thaumatropes that go along with your unit (ex: weather: lightning and dark skies on one side and clear skies with puffy white clouds on the other). Also, states of matter: ice cube melting. They could also do a volcano erupting or a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Kids can get super creative with the project!

History - Check it out here!

Four different ways to construct a thaumatrope! All you need is cardstock, a hole puncher, glue/tape and one of the materials below. You can draw, use photos, or write messages to create your optical illusion!
Rubber Band (you need 2)

Extra video on the history of animation (9 minutes):