Quick-Change Flip Book


Children will create a flip book that illustrates the growth and change of a plant or an animal as it goes through its life cycle.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Remind children that all living things grow and change. As an example, you might briefly discuss the life cycle of a butterfly. Then explain to children that they are going to make their own flip books that will show how a plant or an animal grows and changes. The trick will be to make it look as if the plant or the animal is actually growing. (If you have any examples of similar “motion picture” flip books, share them with the children.)
  2. Brainstorm with children the types of plants or animals they might illustrate. They might draw a caterpillar changing into a butterfly, a flower growing from a seed, a chick hatching from an egg and becoming a hen, or an acorn becoming an oak tree. Have children refer to the books you have provided to select a plant or an animal and get ideas for illustrations.
  3. When children have made their selections and have some ideas about the illustrations, distribute the construction paper. The flip book will work best with eight to sixteen pages, but children may do more pages if they like. So begin by giving each child between two and four sheets of construction paper and have them cut each piece into four pages for their books.
  4. When children are ready to start drawing, remind them that they need to start by drawing the plant or an animal at the beginning of its life. Explain that each succeeding picture should show the plant or an animal growing slightly. The slighter the changes and the more pictures they draw, the greater the effect will be when the book is completed. It is also important to tell children to draw the pictures in the same spot on each page. When children are finished drawing the pictures, have each of them make a book cover.
  5. Have children flip through the pages a few times to make sure they are in order and to see if they need to draw more pictures. Then help them staple the books together. Encourage children to share their books with one another. Keep the books in the classroom library for a while so that everyone gets a chance to view each book.

Teaching Options

You may want to do one classroom flip book. With children, choose a plant or an animal to draw. Distribute one page of the flip book to each child. Choose one child to draw the first picture. When that picture is complete, pass it to another child and have him or her draw the next picture. Continue until everyone has drawn a picture. Assemble the book and keep it in the classroom library.