Animated Visual Vocabulary

This week I have been trying to think of activities, projects, and ideas to engage students in distance learning through fun and meaningful ways. I’ll admit that I have felt like I’ve been in a creative slump, as most likely is the case for so many others during this time. I have had this idea in my head for awhile and I thought this would be a good time to share it. I think it would be fun for siblings to do together or a project to get the whole family involved! This would be a great for PE teachers to demo various exercises, foreign language teachers to bring language to life, and other vocabulary words where kids can bring to life through visualization. After all, did you know that it only takes 150 ms for a symbol or picture to be processed and 100 ms to attach meaning to it? Our brains crave visuals and what a better way to study and learn vocabulary, parts of speech, or physical movements!

The Project

This project can be completed in Keynote or Google Slides. The first step is to create the background. I like to have 4 rectangles on each slide with the vocabulary word at the top, but you can design it however you’d like. Then, you will need to use your device to take video of someone demonstrating the word. These are just short videos, no more than 5 seconds. The next step is magical! I stumbled upon the site, This site doesn’t require a green screen at all, it just analyzes your video with AI technology and generates it without a background. For this project, I chose to have a transparent background, but you can do some other cool videos that have awesome built in backgrounds for additional awesome amounts of fun! You’ll see the one I created at the bottom of this post…I’m surrounded by fireworks! This company also removes backgrounds from photos at Once you upload your video, you can download it as a gif (more downloading options for the pro version). Once downloaded as a gif, then you can place it on the rectangle to visualize the vocabulary word.

In Keynote, you can set each video as an animation and have them all loop and play at the same time. You can export the slide as a movie and play the movie as it loops through. At this time, I do not think there is an option to export a Google Slide as a movie, but you can use third party extensions, such as I haven’t used it, but from what I’ve researched, I think that would be the way to go. The other option with both Keynote and Google Slides is to create each slide and just present (or play) the slide and it will keep looping though the animated gifs while it’s in full screen mode. This would be especially helpful to have when we go back to school and you are teaching PE moves or introducing new vocabulary. I think students will have a blast making these…I know I did with my two teenage boys!

Download the template (Keynote)

Download the template (Google Slides)

Animated Visual Vocabulary
Example of the various backgrounds at

Hope you enjoy this! Have fun! Create videos where you are in lots of different virtual locations while social distancing! Be safe out there, friends!

One thought on “Animated Visual Vocabulary

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