These training materials are freely available for any librarian or other trainer to use and adapt to train other teachers. Please cite the CPS Department of Libraries with originating the training materials. Contact Lisa Perez at or 773-553-6212 for further information.

Animation Technology to Support Cross-Curricular Writing (GoAnimate)

Getting Ready

  • Join the CPS Tech Librarians group to receive information and connect with other CPS librarians who are interested in technology
  • Tour and join the CPS Professional Library wiki.
  • Join the ISTE Community ning's SIGMS group to connect to other school librarians nationwide and to be informed about free professional development throughout the school year.

What is GoAnimate?

It is an online animation tool that allows students to build animated movies that include scenes with characters, music, and voice in a sequence.

Watch this Animation Project UPLIFT Welcome by Lisa Perez

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate4Schools. It's free and fun!

Benefits of Animation Technology

  • Ideal platform for writing and sharing dialogue
  • Motivational tool to use correct writing conventions, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Good tool to promote collaboration and shared writing experiences
  • Good tool to integrate information learned across the curriculum
  • An alternate assessment tool for learning
  • Tool to share researched information about specific topics
  • Storytelling platform to promote understanding of story structure and literary devices
  • Outlet for self-expression and creativity
  • Good teacher tool to scaffold information for a new unit of instruction or to build interest.

Examples of Educational Animations

How to Create an Animation

Activity: Create a short animated video to promote some aspect of your library program. If you do not have your own school GoAnimate site yet, log into the Project UPLIFT site at Get your user name from the instructor. The password is libraries.

  1. Log into your school's site address provided to you by GoAnimate using your Teacher login.
  2. Click onto "Create Animation" and watch the Animation Studio load. Watch the tutorial the first time you use GoAnimate.
  3. GoAnimate prompts you to click the background icon at the top left to choose a background for your animation. Scroll down to see a full selection of backgrounds. Select a background and drag it to the stage.
  4. Next, you will be prompted to select a character to appear in your story. The character icon appears as a running orange man in the top left of the screen. Select a character and drag it to the stage. Type the text you would like the character to say in the text box and then select a character's voice from the drop-down menu. Click on "Add Voice" when you are finished.
  5. The add additional scenes, select "Add Scene" at the bottom right of your screen. Remember, each character can perform one action per scene. Also, each scene can only have a person speaking. A scene is like a frame in a comic strip.
  6. To control your character's movement, you can click on the left/right arrows at the top left of the screen. This will enable you to change the direction the character faces. Click on the "Actions" tab on the left of your screen to choose the movements of your character. Experiment with different movements in the drop-down menu to select the appropriate actions.
  7. As you build your animation sequence, you'll notice a timeline on the bottom of the screen. You can use this timeline to control and edit your movie. You can also preview your movie at any time by selecting that button at the top right of your screen.
  8. Click on a character to flip it, layer it, resize it, or delete it.
  9. Click on the orange basketball icon to add props. Notice that there are hand-held props and other props from which to choose.
  10. Use the FX button to create effects between scenes.
  11. Save and publish the animation video, when finished. You can always edit published movies. When logged in as a teacher, you can choose to publish to the lesson gallery or keep private.

  • Save often, as GoAnimate does not auto-save frequently. It may ask for permission to save to your computer to save drafts.
  • Remember to resize characters and objects as they move toward the foreground or background in various scenes.
  • Add facial expressions to liven up the movie.
  • Save only as drafts until ready to publish.
  • Use copy/paste to duplicate items quickly in a scene. Use the undo/redo button to quickly make changes.
  • Explore the music button to add music and effects. You can shorten the music scene, import your own music, or also select music online.
  • Click on the timeline to insert new scenes in between existing scenes and to drag scenes to re-order them.
  • This is an ideal project to do in collaboration with other teachers. For example, students may research a topic that they are learning in the classroom while in the library. They may write their scripts in their home room or subject area classes. A computer teacher may work with you to give the students multiple opportunities to work on their animations. An art teacher may want to be involved with the choice of animations and the design of the movie.
  • Explore the import button to import images, sound files, voice files, flash animations, and video to the Animation Studio. Image, video, and flash uploads are only available with premium accounts; however, music uploads are unlimited. Since there are text-to-voice limits on the free account of 50 per month, you may want to have students record their own voices in microphones (unlimited). Natural voices are often preferable and provide students with an oral speaking activity.
  • Embed the movie into your own blogs and wikis.

How to Create an Educator Account
  1. Go to and select "Register Now"
  2. In the TeacherPlus account, select "Register now". (You can review the differences between the free and paid educator accounts at
  3. Complete the form using your CPS email.
  4. In a few days, you will receive an email with your site address, your administrative user name and password, and your teacher user name and password. You will also receive documents explaining your TeacherPlus account (see below) and your SchoolPlus account (should you decide to later purchase that account).
  5. If you encounter problems during the registration process, email with questions.

Setting Up Student Accounts

  1. Log into GoAnimate and select "Teachers". Select yourself as the teacher.
  2. Click Students > Add New
  3. Add each student's first name, last name, login name, and password. You can edit, reset the password, or delete any student account.
  4. Direct students to log in at your school's GoAnimate site. The URL was emailed to you when your account was approved.
  5. Students will be directed through a tutorial the first time they log on. You may want to work together on this tutorial so the class has the foundations of using GoAnimate.
  6. Note: GoAnimate randomly assigns avatar pictures to each student account. You may want to log into each student's account in advance to upload your own logo or picture. (Don't use student pictures to be safe.) Otherwise, if you have students use avatar generators, they can upload their own created cartoon pictures in the "account settings" tab. They can also reset passwords there, if desired, but you will have to reset the password again if the student loses their chosen password.
  7. Note: Your school will have to have a premium account to enable students to create their own custom characters. If you are using the free account, caution them that they won't be able to save their created characters.
  8. Be aware that, by default, students will be able to send messages to each other. This can be a good way for students to provide peer review, but set expectations for balancing this activity with the creation process. Supervise the process carefully.
  9. Note: As a teacher, you can delete, embed, or unpublish any student's work.

Getting Help & Follow-Up

  1. You can look at the GoAnimate Forum to see discussion topics. Email for other help. Follow GoAnimate on Twitter.
  2. Use the "Create Character" link from your homepage to make new characters that are available for your students. You can easily make characters from various ethnic backgrounds, historical figures, and thematic characters with hundreds of shape and color choices.

Wrapping Up

  • Internet safety
    • Do not guide students to create their own GoAnimate accounts.
    • Do not allow students to post last names, student pictures, personally identifying information, or anything that can allow others to contact them outside of the classroom.
    • Have students log in with the accounts you have created for them.
    • Always carefully monitor any student-created work in your classes
    • Do not communicate online with students privately.
  • Exit survey
  • How to get your Project UPLIFT "Animation" certificate
    • Submit your request..
    • Post links to at least 15 GoAnimate movies that have been created by students at your school. The animated movies should relate to the curriculum, have clear educational merit, and be publicly viewable. Consider working with a collaborating teacher in some capacity during this assignment. Do not include any animated movies that have students' last names or any identifying information.
    • You will receive your printable certificate via CPS email once the documentation has been approved. Please share it with your principal and post it proudly. Your name will be added as a Project UPLIFT librarian at this wiki once you complete this requirement.

To record Project UPLIFT activities in CPS University

You can use this procedure to enter Project UPLIFT training in CPS University:

  1. Go to (within the CPS network). Log in using your CPS ID.
  2. Click "CPS University" at the top right and then "CPS University" at the left.
  3. Select "Supplemental Learning" > Type - External Learning - No Approval
  4. Enter the title, description, status (submit for approval), start date, end date, location, price, and the provider (Lisa Perez - CPS Dept of Libraries).
  5. Select "Save". You will see a message indicating that you have successfully saved your activity. The activity will appear in your list of "All Learning".