GoAnimate – Animation that I actually get.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I really don’t understand Flash.  I’ve sat in on a couple of workshops to learn how to use it, but there’s just something about “Tweens” and stuff that I just don’t get.  Because of that, I’ve constrained myself to comic strips and the like.

On a friend’s reccomendation, I checked out GoAnimate and was pretty impressed with just how easy it was to create a decent looking animation.  They have a library of stock characters and backgrounds to choose from, along with sound effects, songs and more.  Choose a background, choose an object or chacter to put into it, and away you go!

I went with the classic classroom setting, populated it with students and noticed that if I clicked on a character, a contextual menu popped up.  Choices included movement (walking or sliding to a new location), or choosing one of about 20-25 animations (happy, sad, crying, laughing, and of course a few sophmoric ones).  I could also add callouts and captions as desired.  So I set a few up, and then clicked on Add Frame, which duplicated the current state minus all the callouts/captions.  Then I could add new actions or callouts.  String a bunch together and you have an animated story!

It took me about ten minutes to create that one. Honestly the hardest part was realizing that when I added Hall’s picture in, I added it as a background. This prevented me from cropping or resizing it. Once I made it an object, I was golden.

This brings me to my favorite part about it, which is that you can upload your own backgrounds, your own objects, faces, sound effects and so on. So you can grab backgrounds or clip art from DE streaming’s image library and use them to make animations. You have access to thousands of high rez images and sound effects to use in your animations. Just imagine what your students could come up with!

How about creating an animated example of the food chain? Or the rain cycle, using real images? Or maybe record the students singing “I know an old woman who swallowed a fly” and have the students create visuals to go with the song? Or have them create digital stories, or animate their traditional stories? Or perhaps you could do an animated Spelling Bee to help them learn new vocabulary words?

Just a few ideas off the top of my head, I’m sure you can think of more! Oh yeah, and if you do, share them by leaving a comment!


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  1. Hall Davidson said:

    One cool thing about Adobe Premiere Elements is that it will work with flash. So a teacher or student could create an introduction, or commentary, or summary with GOAnimate and make it into a larger project. GoAnimate could create a “Greek Chorus” to react to whatever happens in the videos. I can envision the characters sometimes just staring (in reaction shots), falling off their chairs, cheering, etc. Way fun!!! Nice call, Mr. Dembo. And for those who weren’t there, you are seeing a jester hat on my head. It was part of the DEN Carnival at Discovery Headquarters this summer. I also brought caliope music….

  2. Larry Ferlazzo said:

    I love the Go Animiate tool, and blogged about. However, readers then let me know that they found inappropriate content on the site, which is a major disappointment to me — sigh.

  3. Aaron Smith said:

    Bitstrips.com is somewhat similar, although it’s more for comic strips than animation and you can’t import your own graphics.

    You CAN, however, create custom characters and share them with others. Not sure if I’ll use it in the classroom, but it’s worth checking out I think.

  4. Linda Michael said:

    Looks pretty neat. I can’t wait to play with it.

  5. Laura Ann said:

    I tried GoAnimate and I thought it was really easy to use. You can create an animation in just a short amount of time using the “pre-created” actions on the site. I didn’t try uploading my own background or characters, but I think I would find more use for it in the classroom if I could do that easily. Also, I worry about inappropriate content on the site as I do teach first graders.

  6. Sonja said:

    GoAnimate looks like a great way to have fun in the classroom.

  7. Tina Amores said:

    Wow! This really sounds like a great tool to get students motivated. I teach low level students that have a great difficulty in writing and communication. Being able to do it with pictures is just what they need to help build vocabulary and literacy.I would like to know more about how to use this site in my classroom.

  8. Shawn Salevsky said:

    Thanks for this.. It looks like something that I can try with students and not be afraid that they know more than me.

  9. Heather Wasemann said:

    This looks really neat. At my K-12 charter school we started an IMedia cluster in the high school with adobe cs3. I think go animate could be a great tool in the middle school to see if they might be interested in signing up for that cluster when they attend the high school. I could see using this in history class to recreate the Boston Massacre or some other event in history. I could also see a science teacher using this explain natural selection. I haven’t tried it out yet so these are just ideas.

  10. Tom said:

    The increased desire of educators to differentiate instruction is made easier with tools such as this. I will be using this tool in class this year. Thanks for the heads up.

  11. Gina R said:

    I can’t wait to have my student “show” a summary of a book they have read using this software!

  12. Candace Musawwir said:

    Go Animate appears to be a fun website to incorporate into any classroom. I do think students would need time to familiarize themselves with the various tools in order to create a successful animation. Also, I do worry that my middle schoolers would be distracted by creating inappropriate animations, rather than what they were instructed to do. But by close monitoring, this should be an avoidable circumstance.

  13. Dave Ickowski said:

    This looks like a great tool to use for creative writing. I could not imagine any student not being excited to design their own animated scene and characters. Once the scenes are designed students can add in the speech bubbles. The biggest challenge as a teacher would be making sure students did not spend all their work time with the animation components and spent some of the time in the writing.

  14. Lauren Coakley said:

    Thank you. I really like Go Animate. This is a great option for students to create an alternative to a slide presentation. Or illustrate concepts that are difficult to explain. Our directors class writes one-act plays,Go Animate would be fun to use to animate a scene.

  15. Bob said:


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