Dry Erase Stop Motion Animation

In this activity, students will create the illusion of a moving dot with stop-motion animation using a dry-erase board and markers.

Dry Erase Stop Motion Animation

Dry Erase Stop Motion Animation

Contributed by Andy Gaukel 

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In this activity, students will create the illusion of a moving dot with stop-motion animation using a dry-erase board and markers.


  • Begin by making sure your dry-erase board is securely placed in a position where it will not move as you draw and erase. 
  • Make sure your camera is also secure and will not move while taking photos.
  • Decide on a direction or path your dot will follow on the dry-erase board. Depending on how complex you’d like this to be, you can create a simple storyboard that shows a beginning, middle, and ending frame for your animation.

Storyboard. Four squares illustrating how a story will be filmed.

  • Select a colored marker to use to draw a dot that will give the most contrast with the color of your dry-erase board.
  • Draw a dot. Take a photo. Erase the dot. Following the direction you decided on, draw the dot just next to where it was before you erased it. Take a photo. Erase the dot. Draw the dot again just next to the last dot you erased.
  • Repeat at least 150 times until you have a short film of your dot appearing to move around the whiteboard.
  • TIPS:
    • Draw your dot on a clear direct path so that it appears to be moving in a line or arc. If the animation program you’re using has onion skinning, use that to help guide the amount of change in each frame.Onion Skin. A dark skinned person in a hijab waves a hand leaving the impression of five hands moving.
    • This activity can be as simple or complex as you like. Students can increase the complexity by adding a second or third dot to their animation that has its own path (imagine a pinball machine with two or three balls in play at the same time). Or add a dash that acts as a paddle for the dot/ball, and you can re-create a game like Pong or Arkanoid.

Transition Into Activity

Before you begin this activity, provide the class with an example film you have premade, or make one together. 

Transition Out of Activity

Before moving on to the next activity, each group can share what they created with the whole class.

Classroom Arrangement

Students can either work alone or in pairs at desks or tables. Having tables set up in a large space such as a library or cafeteria works best. This gives students room to set up cameras and devices and securely set up whiteboards.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Share short, preprinted, and completed storyboards for students to animate. This could be framed as though you’ve been hired to animate this storyboard. The storyboard could also be partially complete, with a couple panels left blank for students to complete. 
  • A timer/visual timer can be used to remind students to rotate roles (as applicable), save their animation, and play back their animation for continuity and quality of motion.
  • Only provide high-contrast marker options.
  • Provide pencil grips for students using pencils to work on their storyboard.
  • If someone is using a wheelchair or other tool to support their motion, ensure there is enough space around the equipment and tape down anything that may be a trip hazard. 

Possible Roles for Classroom Professionals

  • Check in with students as they create their work.
  • Offer to be the photographer for students so they can concentrate on their dot drawings.

Adjustments for Remote Instruction

Use a 2D animation program to mimic the dry-erase animation or share your screen with your dry-erase board up. Students can participate by giving you directions on the path of the dot’s movement. Students could also work on their own to create a film of their moving dots and then share their screen at the end of the activity.

Art forms


30 mins