In this activity (posted on March 27, 2011), learners follow the steps to construct a mini zoetrope, a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures. First, learners use relatively simple materials and tools to assemble the hand-held zoetrope device. Then, learners draw a progressively changing image in each frame of an animation strip, insert it into their zoetrope, slowly spin the chopstick handle, and watch as their drawings appear to come to life! The "Things to do and notice" section of this resource includes information about how zoetropes work, how to substitute 3D materials (like wire or clay sculptures) for the 2D animation strips, and how zoetropes were early forms of film technology.


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