Lesson #12086

Create a moving lesson in animation with this two-sided thaumatrope.

Grade Level:

Students will “flip out” over their handmade thaumatrope.

thaumatrope illustrates animation of two images. Because of the optical illusion of “persistence of vision,” you will see both images at once when you turn the thaumatrope. Discussing animation and how it works through the persistence of vision helps explain how motion pictures are made. The eye holds on to an image while a new image is also registering when turning a thaumatrope.

A11120-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Thaumatrope A11121-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Box Opening A11122-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Butterfly A11123-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Fish & Bowl A11124-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Jumping Jack A11125-Sizzix Bigz Die - Animation, Spider & Web
Adhesive, Construction paper, Markers or pens, Rubber bands, Scissors
Adhesive, Construction paper, Markers or pens, Rubber bands, Scissors

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

  1. Die-cut a thaumatrope and a pair of animation images.
  2. Decorate the images with markers or pens.
  3. Adhere one image on each side of the thaumatrope, following directions 4 and 5 below.
  4. Whenever the orientation of the design is horizontal (rubber bands on the sides), one image should be glued upside down from the partnering image on the other side of the thaumatrope.
  5. Whenever the orientation of the design is vertical (rubber bands on top and bottom), the images should both be glued right side up.
  6. Poke rubber bands through the holes in the thaumatrope, and knot each one by threading the band through itself.
  7. Hold the thaumatrope by the rubber bands, and use them to turn the circle quickly back and forth to create moving animation (Main Photo).

Fine Arts & Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
Achievement Standard:

  • Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
Achievement Standard:

  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.


NS.K-4.2 Physical Science
As a result of the activities in grades K–4, all students should develop an understanding of

  • Properties of objects and materials
  • Position and motion of objects


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