Activity Types: Time Lapse Stories


Getting "Handy" in the classroom with technology integration!

What are Time Lapse Stories?
Time lapse stories are stories that are written to explain what happens during a sequence. The difference between this story and a "How To" or "Experimental" story is that a camera is set up to take pictures on a regular interval. The story is written to explain what is happening during each image. Time lapse photography is especially useful for studying events that occur over time, such as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, weather patterns changing over the continent, or even the stars moving across the winter sky.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Excellent introduction to reporting or journalistic writing
  • Great group work activity
  • Students can use the activity to create authentic accounts of relevant events

Disadvantages for use in the classroom:

  • Students may need guidance in recording observations
  • Students need to be prepared for writing together from separate accounts


Check out the time lapse video of the Seasons in Norway, plants blooming at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the severe weather videos of Tornado Alley, or the transformation of chrysalis to Monarch butterfly.

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project

Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)

Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction