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Literary Analysis: Analyzing Symbolism through Animated Gifs on Brush Ninja Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will learn how to identify symbolism in a story and create animated gifs on Brush Ninja to represent the symbols.


  • A short story with clear examples of symbolism (e.g. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein)
  • Computers or tablets with internet access for each student or pair of students
  • Access to Brush Ninja website


  1. Introduce the concept of symbolism in literature and provide some examples.
  2. Read the selected story aloud as a class, pausing at points where there are clear symbols to discuss them.
  3. Review how to use Brush Ninja, including how to draw simple shapes, add text, and animate objects.
  4. In pairs or individually, have students choose a symbol from the story and create an animated gif with Brush Ninja that represents it.
  5. After completing their gifs, have students share them with the class and explain why they chose that particular symbol and how they represented it in their animation.


Assessment will be based on students’ ability to:

  • Identify symbols in the story
  • Create an animated gif that effectively represents their chosen symbol
  • Explain their thought process and reasoning behind their choice of symbol and animation


For advanced students or as an extension activity:

  • Have them analyze multiple symbols in the same story or across different stories using Brush Ninja.
  • Have them create longer animations that tell a story using multiple symbols.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

More Tutorial Videos →

More English Lessons

Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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