Clay Transformation Sequence

Goal: To introduce basic claymation techniques working in small groups. 

Clay Transformation Sequence
  • Intro

Clay Transformation Sequence

Contributed by David DelGrasso


To introduce basic claymation techniques for work in small groups.


  • Teaching Artist gives groups the challenge of creating a sequence of clay transformations. Each group will:
    1. Choose, then form a simple, three-dimensional geometric shape
    2. Animate the shape into a scene
    3. Transform the simple shape into 2-3 other forms
    4. Transform the shape back into the original form
  • Students in each group should rotate roles to:
    1. Create scene
    2. Move shapes through scene
    3. Take pictures/film the objects and scene
  • Reflection: Students should reflect on the following questions.
    1. How did you decide to transform your shapes and how did that change the scene?
    2. What kind of story started to “take shape” as the shapes changed in the scene?
    3. What other shapes could you add to make the scene even “bigger?”

Transition into Activity

Play a Claymation video to begin, and have the group process some of what they saw.

Transition out of Activity

To close out before moving on to the next activity, each group can share what they created to the whole class.

Classroom Arrangement

Small table groups

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Before beginning, groups should have an ordered list of the forms they will use. Next to each shape, students should write down who will animate each shape. (This can change, but everyone should have a turn.)
  • TA can have pre-molded shapes for students with limited dexterity if forming shapes is unavailable. Students may then be able to move the pre-molded objects around. 
  • TA can have pre-drawn/printed scenes for students to use. 
  • To scaffold, students can choose to write down or draw the “journey” of the objects so that they have a guide.
  • If filming or taking pictures is not available to students, TA and other Classroom Professionals can rotate between groups to do this task.

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Support individual students.
  • Participate in groups.
  • Help students manipulate clay if needed.
  • Help groups with the pictures/filming portion of the activity.

Remote Adaptation

If it is possible to provide students with art supplies at the beginning of a residency, by mail, for example, TA can provide students with clay so that students can create individual Claymation videos. If this is not available, TA might lead an activity to create stop-motion videos using objects other than clay. For example, students might make shapes from paper or other household objects.

Art forms


20 min