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"Made By Maxine" - Upcycling and Animation Unit Plan

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Maxine loves making new things from old things. She loves tinkering until she has solved a problem. She also loves her pet goldfish, Milton. So when it’s time for her school’s pet parade, she’s determined to create something that will allow Milton to march with the other animals. Finally, after trying, trying, and trying again, she discovers just the right combination of recycled odds and ends to create a fun, functional–and absolutely fabulous–solution to her predicament.

Relevant Themes

  • Recycling

  • Growth Mindset

  • Pets

  • Parades

  • Engineering

  • Cars

  • Learning from Mistakes

  • Fish

  • Thinking of solutions to problems


Circle 1 (40 minutes) : Introduce flipbook animation!



“Animation” is when lots of very similar pictures are shown quickly, creating an optical illusion that an image is moving.


Flipbook firework: Students will listen to instructions about how to make a flipbook firework. This will be done step by step, page by page, using sticky notes and dot stickers or pencil crayons.

Lunch Reading Time (15 minutes)

Read: “Made by Maxine.”


What are some things that Maxine is making out of old things?

When she gets discouraged, what are some things that she could do?

If you could invent anything, what would you invent?

Introduce the culminating project

Circle 2 (15 minutes):



Students line up behind the ipad and are each given a sticky note. One by one they will put their sticky note on the wall in front of the camera and with press the button to take a picture. When the whole class has placed their sticky notes, they will be shown the end result of their animation.


Stop Motion Animation Play Center with animals.

  • Discuss how ipad should be treated

  • Talk about breaking down movements into small parts.

Circles 3 and 4 (20 minutes each class) - Build a Pet


  • Pictures of fish, octopus, dragon, dog, hamster

  • Students will use cardboard pieces to build the pet that they will put in the pet parade.

Think about:

  • Where does your pet live? How many legs / fins / wings / eyes does it have?

Students will label it with their names and begin to decorate.

Circle 3

  • Model on the board the blueprinting of a parade float

  • Draw on elements and label using student input

  • Send students to create their own parade float blueprints

Lunch Story (15 minutes)

Art Centers

  • Mosaic backdrop for the pet parade

  • One-by-one animation and description recording






4. demonstrate an ability to use problem- solving skills in a variety of contexts, including social contexts




7. participate actively and regularly in a variety of activities that require the application of movement concepts


8. develop movement skills and concepts as they use their growing bodies to move in a variety of ways and in a variety of contexts


9. demonstrate literacy behaviours that enable beginning readers to make sense of a variety of texts



10. demonstrate literacy behaviours that enable beginning writers to communicate with others


11. demonstrate an understanding and critical awareness of a variety of written materials that are read by and with their educator


12. demonstrate an understanding and critical awareness of media texts


13. use the processes and skills of an inquiry stance (i.e., questioning, planning, predicting, observing, and communicating)


14. demonstrate an awareness of the natural and built environment through hands-on investigations, observations, questions, and representations of their findings.



15. demonstrate an understanding of numbers, using concrete materials to explore and investigate counting, quantity, and number relationships


30. demonstrate an awareness of themselves as dramatists, actors, dancers, artists, and musicians through engagement in the arts


31. demonstrate knowledge and skills gained through exposure to and engagement in drama, dance, music, and visual arts


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