Creating an Animated Flipbook Using Flipsnack 

Recently I attended the South Carolina Educational Technology Conference and learned about Flipsnack - a tech tool and website that will provide students the opportunity to publish animated, interactive flipbooks for free! Using Flipsnack, teachers and students can sign up for an account in order to create and publish three digital books.  The free account limits each of the three books to 15 pages or less.

How does Flipsnack work?  Flipsnack uses HTML5 to convert pdf files to flash.  This website is compatible with all devices - from Chromebooks to iPads. There are multiple ways to create digital books using this site!  Users can create within the site by selecting one of Flipsnack's template options or upload a pdf and/or jpgs and use Flipsnack to publish their creations.  

In order to upload a pdf file, students would first create their digital books using Google Slides or Google Docs.  Both Google Docs and Google Slides provide an option to save or download the file as a pdf. Microsoft Office and Power Point can be used, also.  
Once the book is completed and saved as a pdf, students then upload the pdf file using Flipsnack's upload tool.  Once uploaded, students have additional editing options - including the option to add additional pages and images!

Prior to publishing their uploaded books in Flipsnack, students can customize their books by changing the screen background to a different color or to a texture (similar to changing the background of a slide).  They can also upload an image for the background.

Additional options to customize their digital books include highlighting any hyperlinks that appear on the book's pages, causing the pages to auto-flip or turn, and checking the option for the pages to make a flipping sound when turning.  You MUST check this flip sound option!

Want to see an example?  Check out this flipbook that I first created using Google Slides, then downloaded as a pdf, and uploaded  and published using Flipsnack!



This flipbook includes images, texts, and hyperlinks!  Hyperlinks are still active once you upload your flipbook into Flipsnack.  Students can link to video, audio files, and relevant websites while they create their Flipbooks in Google Docs or Google Slides!

Creating a Flipbook Using Flipsnack's Templates

For more advanced users, you also have the option to create your flipbook using one of Flipsnack's templates.  Students will need to save images outside of the Flipsnack website.

Template options range from a magazine template, a presentation template (widescreen and landscape), a large vertical flyer, and a booklet. After selecting a template, additional options are available to further customize the look of individual pages.  Using the starter templates, users can replace the template's text and images with their own.  They can use Flipsnack's ability to hyperlink text, also.  Users can also insert colored shapes.  Adding pages to the original template is also easy to do by selecting the Page menu.

Though I enjoyed using the option of creating a digital book from a Flipsnack template, it did present some initial challenges.  I had difficulty moving text boxes, for example.  After looking at the editing menu which appears on the right side of your screen, I realized that I needed to make sure that I was working under the first tabbed option (layers) versus the second tabbed menu option (pages).  Once I realized what was causing the difficulty in moving text around on a flipbook page, I clicked off the text box, selected the Layers menu, clicked back on and was then able to easily drag the text box and move the text's location across the page.

Flipsnack is similar to Canva in the advanced editing options that are available - changing the order of text, shapes, and images, recoloring the shapes, inserting hypertext or hyperlinks, customizing the text's color and font type, etc.

Under the pages menu, users can click and drag in order to reorder pages  and select the (+) icon to continue adding more that the template provides.

Here's an example below of a flipbook I created on scientist Rosalind Franklin using the booklet template available at Flipsnack's website:


Amazing Scientists


Once students complete their flipbooks, they then select the topic area (Education), have an option of writing a description, and can share with their teachers via link. Free accounts do not have the option to publish privately or to download the flipbooks from the site.

Students will get a kick out of seeing their digital books online.  Using your mouse and hovering over the books pages will create a cool effect as they see the page corners curl.  The flip sound?  Might just be one of my favorite things about the publishing platform.  I'm just sayin'.  Ha, ha!


Ideas for Using Flipsnack in the Classroom

Flipbooks can be used to display students' research results.  Both sample projects I've posted can be an assessment of  assigned research topics - such as 1970s research and research on an influential scientist. 

Students can be given guidelines for their flipbooks regarding a minimum number of pages, images, etc.  They can also be required to hyperlink a minimum of one related website or video that supports their topic or a site/video providing relevant supplementary information.

If using Flipsnack for research assessment, think of each page of the book in terms of required research subtopics.  Using the 1970s flipbook as an example, students could be required to create a page on influential political figures in the 1970s or for any chosen decade of research, a page noting the foreign relations of the United States during this period of history, a page featuring references from popular culture that existed during this time frame, etc.

Students can use flipsnack to create a digital book based on their reading of ANY text.  Substitute any report with a flipbook published using Flipsnack. By using different images (including symbolic omes), key details and a summary, important vocabulary terms, and related hyperlinks, students can demonstrate what they've learned.  

Flipbooks provide a unique platform for students to highlight key concepts within a text through the selection of different types of media - linked sound and audio files, links to video clips, representative images, and text. Analyzing text through the use of different media types is frequently listed as an acadermic content area standard for BOTH social studies and ELA.

Teachers can also use Flipsnack to create a class book by adding or creating pages featuring their students' work cumulatively in one digital, interactive book.

See Additional Flipsnack Projects

Flipsnack is worth trying out!  There are sample flipbooks created by students in different grade levels that can viewed HERE and in ISTE's informative blog post with student examples HERE.

I also have a teaching resource with all the materials you need for implementation - including a sample Flipsnack based on O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store Teen Tech University.  

You can purchase student project sheets with structured directions, how-to handouts, and a grading rubric at the link listed below: