Computer Animation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kandi Young

Kandi has degrees in Communications, Human Services, Education and Computer Science. She is a Business, Marketing, and Technology instructor with a Master's degree in Education.

Computer animation dominates many aspects of our lives and has a rich history. This lesson will not only define computer animation, but also examine the history of animation, and the many different types of animation.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Define computer animation.
  • Understand the history of animation.
  • Create a basic computer-generated animation.

Length of Lesson

1 to 2 hours; the Become the Animator activity level could be over several days.



Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.


Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.


  • 3D animation
  • Motion capture
  • Claymation
  • Pixilation
  • Tweening
  • Machinima
  • Augmented reality


Become the Animator Activity

  • Animation samples
  • Animation software
  • Blank storyboards or general animation scenarios

Timeline Activity

  • Poster board or shared digital presentation software
  • Markers, if using poster boards
  • Internet access for research


  • Begin the lesson with a class discussion about what students think of when they hear the word 'animation.'
  • Allow students to read the Computer Animation: Definition, History & Types lesson lesson.
  • Continue the class discussion after reading the article.
    • What type of animation are you most accustomed to seeing?
    • How has computer animation changed over the course of time?
    • Is one particular program used more frequently than others? Explain.
    • Which films mentioned in the lesson have you seen?
    • Do you like one type of animation more than another and why?
  • Have students complete the Computer Animation: Definition, History & Types worksheet
  • Continue onto activities for lesson reinforcement and re-teaching.

Timeline Activity

  • Assign students a particular time in the history of animation and a corresponding type of animation that emerged within that time frame.
  • Instruct students to research their assigned time period and type of animation. They should be able to answer the following questions in their projects.
    • What year(s) does your research focus on?
    • What animation techniques were prevalent during this time?
    • How did these techniques differ from previous techniques and how were they the same?
    • What software was most widely used and why?
    • Is that software still used today? Why or why not?

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