How to Make a Filmstrip Project for School Kids

A filmstrip showcases a series of frames that resemble an actual film negative or film print used in professional productions. When using a filmstrip as part of a project for young students, it is expected that each of these frames get filled with a specific image, which can either be a drawing or a photo. Requiring the kids to choose the images to be placed on the filmstrip helps develop their visual and storytelling skills.

Provide each kid with a single piece of document with a filmstrip printed on it. A filmstrip looks like a typical film negative where there are a number of large, rectangular spaces arranged uniformly in the middle of the strip. Meanwhile, its top and bottom have very small, uniformly rectangular holes surrounding the entire strip. These are called perforations or perfs, and they allow the film print to be played on a projector via its film sprockets. The perfs attach to these film sprockets during playback.

Instruct the kids to fill up each frame with a photo, but not just any photo; make a story out of the number of frames available on the filmstrip. For instance, if the document has eight frames, each kid should take photos, using a digital camera or mobile phone based on the story they want to tell through eight photos. This is similar to a storyboard wherein the image on each frame unveils what happens in the story.

Provide the kids with all the information needed for the project, including the submission date and any additional parameters with the story they will make. For instance, you may require them to create a story with their family members as the characters.

Dedicate a class session where the kids tell the stories they made on the filmstrip in front of the class.


After all the kids have already finished presenting their filmstrips and telling their stories, you may discuss with them the basics of how a movie is done. The term "movie" actually came from the word "moving picture" because a movie is made of a series of still pictures that are sequentially played to create the illusion of movement. The playback of these images tend to register as the movie seen on screen, but actually they are all pictures that just run very fast in the movie projector. You can also discuss the use of a storyboard in making a movie. You may also make a follow-up project like a flipbook wherein the students can create their own animation in flipbook format by drawing a series of images on each page of the flipbook. This follows the same concept as in a movie where the fast, sequential playback of still images result in the illusion of movement.

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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.