Share This Experiment

Experiment Category: 


Discover geometry by creating shapes from loops of paper.

What You Need: 

  • 15-20 blank index cards
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Pens/ Pencils
  • Stapler

To Do and Observe: 

1. Think of something that moves, like a bouncing ball, or you can be creative and draw something unique. Draw a picture of it on one of the cards.

2. Now draw more pictures of the objects so that it moves just a little on each card. You might start with the ball at the top left hand side, have it move down to the bottom and then bounce up to the top right hand side.

3. Staple the cards together at the top.

4. Hold the top with one hand, bend them backwards and use your thumb to flip through them fast.

What's Going On: 

Flipbook cartoons show some basic principles of a computer program. A computer only works because someone wrote instructions for it – a program. These instructions are broken into parts, like the pictures that make your flipbook cartoon. Like your flipbook, the parts have to be arranged in the right order, or it won’t work. And like your flipbook, a computer can only do what you tell it to do. If you drew a ball, you won’t see anything else.

Parent/Teacher Tips: 

Have the students keep their drawings to one side of the index card, so when they are ready to flip their books parts of their drawing is not obstructed. You can also have the students use post it notes to give them an idea of how much space they have to draw on and the degree of changes per page. Before the students staple the cards together you can have them change around the order of their drawings and observe what they see as they flip through. Does the cartoon do what you intended? Have the students place them back in the correct order (you can have them number the cards in the corner, so that this can be easily done) and flip through the images. Have them observe what happens. Does the cartoon do what you intended now?