Technology Focus: Animated Video

PowToon is a technology tool that enables students to create engaging and animated videos using class content.  This resource will demonstrate how PowToon can be used as an assessment for learning tool in the chemistry unit in grade 9 science. 


This tool provides various tutorials to get teachers and students familiar with its different features.  Some prior knowledge of video editing would be helpful in using this application. 


PowToon is suitable for Junior, Intermediate, and Secondary students and can be used in any unit in the science curriculum.  This technology tool can also be used to create engaging teacher lessons.

This resource will demonstrate how PowToon can be used as an assessment for learning tool in the chemistry unit in grade 9 science. 

Tool Highlights

Students can create animated, creative, and engaging videos using classroom content.  PowToon has ready to use storyboard layouts, backgrounds, characters, objects, graphics, sound, and images.  Files can also be imported to add specific music and images onto your PowToon video.

PowToon provides a wide variety of exporting options including: YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook, MP4, PowerPoint, PDF, and Google+.


Specific Expectations:

C2.1 use appropriate terminology related to atoms, elements, and compounds, including, but not limited to: boiling point, mixtures, particle theory, pure substances, and viscosity

C3.2 describe the characteristics of neutrons, protons, and electrons, including charge, location, and relative mass

C3.3 distinguish between elements and compounds (e.g., compounds are pure substances that can be broken down into elements by chemical means)

C3.8 identify and use the symbols for common elements (e.g., C, Cl, S, N) and the formulas for common compounds (e.g., H2O, CO2, NaCl, O2)


Students will follow the steps below to create an animated video on atoms, elements, and compounds using the technology tool PowToon.  Please see handout below entitled “Atoms, Elements and Compounds PowToon”.

Students must have been taught all concepts related to atoms, elements, and compounds before they can engage in this activity. 

PowToon works best with Chrome and thus students should use it as their web browser when completing this activity.


  1. Review the following short videos at
  1. Before you start Making a PowToon
  2. How to make a PowToon from A to Z in just a few minutes


  1. Go to the PowToon website at and click the START NOW icon to create an account.   If you already have an account, click the login icon on the upper right side of the page.


  1. Watch Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 videos under the heading “Before you start, Remember” on the upper right side of the page.


  1. Once finished, close the video window and click on “Build your story scene by scene” for ready to use storyboard structures.  If you prefer to build your storyboard from scratch click “Start from scratch”.


  1. Select a look for your PowToon by clicking one of the options provided.


  1. Choose your storyboard structure by selecting “Education” and then “Student”.  Click on the “Watch tutorial” pop-up if required.


  1. Click on the “+” on the first scene and select one of the ready to use scenes, do the same for all other scenes.  To add more scenes just click the “+” between scenes.


  1. Once your storyboard is complete, click “Preview” to preview your storyboard and then click “Continue” on the upper right side of the page.


  1. Scene by scene add the desired text. 


Tip: Have students complete a storyboard graphic organizer before starting their PowToon video. Please see attached handout entitled “Storyboard Graphic Organizer”.


  1. Click on the “Text” icon on the upper right side and double click on the scene area where you would like to add your text. 


  1. Add voiceover or sound to the desired scenes by clicking on the “Sound” icon on the right side of the page.


  1. Add visuals by clicking on the “Background”, Characters”, “Objects”, and “Specials” icons on the upper right side of the page.


  1. Add special effects by double clicking the following icon  on the timeline bar at the bottom of the page.  Note that the length that a scene plays in the video can be altered by adjusting the timeline at the bottom of the page.


  1. Save work for future editing or for storage purpose by clicking the following icon at the top of the page


  1. Once finished, preview work by clicking  and then click the “Export” icon at the bottom of the page and then the “Export” icon again at the upper right side of the page and select your upload, download or share option.


  1. Click the following icon anytime for general help and tutorials:  The link to the tutorials is:


Assessment Strategy

Assessment for and as learning:

This activity will enable teachers to identify student misconceptions on the topics of atoms, elements, and compounds.  Once identified, teachers can then adjust their classroom instruction and provide constructive feedback, in the form of anecdotal observations, to students to help them eliminate these misconceptions.  Please attached handout entitled “Atoms, Elements and Compounds PowToon”.

Assessment of learning:

Once students have eliminated all misconceptions, they can edit their video and submit it as an assessment of learning activity. 

Next Steps/Extensions/Other Topics for this tech tool

This activity can be used by students as a study guide once they have edited their final video using teacher feedback comments.

PowToon can be used with any science topic and with assessment for, as, and of learning activities.