The website is best suited for students in grades 3-6. Teachers can have kids create videos to show what they've learned in class, perhaps about a science or math concept, by having them explain it through a character's actions and words. A language arts teacher could have students create stories from screenplays, build story starters, or create an alternative ending to a book or story they're reading. However, with only two human characters, this can be limiting. One downside to the movies is that they remain private and viewable only to the class unless a teacher submits them to the public gallery.Continue reading Show less
Zimmer Twins at School is the education version of the fun Zimmer Twins animation website. Using an array of simple tools, kids can choose characters, backgrounds, facial expressions, and movements, and then type in words to create dialogue. Student can create a movie from scratch or use an existing template. To make their animations, kids simply drag items such as speech bubbles, actions (like chasing), or text blocks to the drag-and-drop timeline below the screen. The “play” button lets them preview their movies as they create. Sections are easy to remove by clicking the red “x” and can be rearranged by dragging them around the timeline.
Visitors to the Zimmer Twins at School website can make a video without logging in, but their movies won't be saved. With a free account, teachers can add up to five students. With a VIP (paid) account, teachers can add up to 40 students. Teachers have to add students manually and can only manage one class at a time. Each class is assigned a class code, and the teacher can access the student profiles, movies, and passwords all through the one dashboard.
Students will be drawn to the site's fun, colorful design. They'll find the movies easy to make with pre-built templates available for inspiration and ideas. Through trial and error, kids can hone their writing skills to create scripted dialogue that works to achieve their storytelling goals and see immediate results. If kids need help, they can check out the “How to Make a Movie” screencast to guide them through the process.
The organization of the movie creation tool (characters, setting, facial expressions, action, sequencing, text styling) is a great way for students to learn how stories are built and what they need to consider when creating a story. While the choices are a bit limiting, this allows for more focus on story structure than fancy add-ons or distractions like sounds, music, and animations. Instructing the characters to perform specific actions or say specific words is empowering, and kids can use various word combinations to create their animated stories. They'll see the immediate results of their efforts when the pieces come together and the movie is complete. The Zimmer Twins at School is a creative place to play with words and practice storytelling.