The source/history of the approach

The history of the animation is longer than the history of filmography. Before cinema, animated stories were made by shuffling drawings one after another and projecting them to the wall.

The word “animation” means liveliness. By photographing successive drawings or positions of LEGO blocks or clay models (as in stop-motion animation), you create an illusion of movement when pictures are shown as a sequence.

In the digital era, you can connect successive pictures using software or on your mobile phone in order to create animation. Animation brings stories to life. With animation, you can explain processes, products, services and ideas or create fictive stories. Animation is linear method of story-telling. You have to watch it from the beginning to the end. This means it is a slower medium than illustration. You can make your narrative livelier by adding sound effects and voice-over.

The aims of the methodology

Animated stories are an effective way of storytelling, more captivating for an audience than static visualisations. Use it in order to get your message across in a way you want it. From a Youth Work point of view, animation can be helpful in explaining processes and services and can also be used for promotional purposes.

The structure of the methodology

Bring stories to life.

  • Manuscripting the idea (creation of the storyline, text and visual storyboard)
  • Designing visual characters, objects and scenes
  • Recording the audio/voice over
  • Animation – sequencing the movement according to the manuscript
  • Sound Effect timing
  • Evaluation and editing of the animation
  • Distribution through selected channels

Possible combinations with other methodologies

Animation workshops can be combined with the following methodologies and methods:

Animation is closely connected to visual storytelling, one minute movie practices and visualization. These methods employ some of the same tools.

The possible benefits of applying it to the field of Youth Work

As visualisations, animations are useful when you want to create capturing and engaging content. People pay more attention to visual stories and their message is understood better than just textual presentation. Manuscripting the storyline also helps you to conceptualise your story and learn how to present it in more understandable way.

Youth workers can use the methodology for
  • Explaining processes and services for the stakeholders, decision makers, funders and clients
  • Promotional material for social media use
  • Animation workshops for young people

Aspects to take into consideration when using this approach in youth work

Animation helps youth workers bring their message to different stakeholders and clients. Animated instructions and other stories engage the audience when distributed through social media channels. Creating animations and engaging storyboards takes a lot of time and it can be challenging to find enough time for the creation. You also need equipment, software and some graphical skills for the job.

Examples of the methodology being applied in youth work, in different contexts

Animation made by Jarmo Röksä (author of this chapter). The animation is based on an article by Susan Cooper in which she describes the Transformative Evaluation Model she developed. The process is used to legitimate the value of youth work to the stakeholders, decision makers and funders. The original text is written in a complex academic style and can be difficult for youth workers to understand. The video seeks to introduce this great process to new au-
This summer work and entrepreneurship campaign by 4H and Humak aims to encourage youth to create 4H businesses. Made by Kari Keuru with an animation application and with an image and character gallery.


The methodological description is based on the text produced by Jarmo Röksä. Developing Youth Work Innovation. E-handbook. Project Future Labs. Erasmus+, KA2, 2019. Publication of Humak University of Applied Sciences, page 92.

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