Flash is known as an animation program from Macromedia (recently purchased by Adobe). Flash has found its way into schools as an alternative presentation tool, as a programming tool, and as a creativity tool. Found everywhere on the web, students are familiar with Shockwave games and animated sites, and are eager to learn to create their own versions.

There seems to be two approaches to using Flash in schools. One is to teach the animation features and the other is to teach the programming (ActionScript) features. And of course, usually one includes the other.

Here is one outline for a beginning Flash class that focuses on animation with a little bit of ActionScript. This class meets 2x/6 days for 43 minutes. Multiple short animations are created for each section, and prior to December vacation the Flash Bio project was assigned as a way of pulling together all the skills up to that point. This project is due in January and will be shared in a mini-Flash Festival. There will be sufficient time second semester to add to this outline. The goal is to offer a second class next year that focuses on programming with ActionScript, using Gary Rosenzweig's ActionScript for Fun & Games as a guide.

Overview of Flash

  • What is Animation/Flash Interface
  • Flip-card books/Vector & Bitmap graphics

Flipbooks-Handheld Animations Flipsticks

  • Flah flip-card movie/Vector-Bitmap comparison
  • Draw Tools
  • Layers

Animation Basics

Max Fleischer - The thin black line

  • Frame-by-frame
  • Spacing & Timing
  • Symbols
  • Motion tweens

Special Effects

  • Tweening Effects
  • Shape Tweens
  • Motion Guides
  • Masks


  • Sound Properties
  • Sound Compression

Flash Kit - free sounds Macromedia Flash Exchange - sounds Macromedia Flash Sound Resources

Flash Bio project

Buttons and ActionScript

  • Button States/Basic, Rollover & Invisible Buttons
  • Text Button
  • Action Scripting
  • STOP action
  • STOP & PLAY buttons

Movie Clips

  • Basic Movie Clip
  • 'Eyes' Movie Clip - practice w/Basic Movie Clip
  • 'Movable Shape Tween' - cursor controls location of movie clip on screen
  • 'Invisible Movie Clip' - cursor controls visibility of movie clip on screen

Extras (to be done when the mood strikes :-)

  • Rotoscoping
  • Animated Button
  • Sound Button
  • 'Car' Movie Clip - nesting symbols within symbols

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