Take some time and download the app Stikbot Studio and let your students create stop-motion animated movies on their mobile devices. It's free, simple to use, and possibly the easiest stop-motion animating app I've seen/used.
I was watching cartoons with my kids when a Stikbot commercial came across the screen and my kids immediately yelled "We NEED those dad!". On our weekly trip to Target I did what any good father would do--I walked to the toy aisle and bought them.
My girls spent the entire day learning how to work the app, planning movements, testing their limits, and then creating their movie. What I noticed was the storytelling and attention to detail that my third graders picked up on immediately.
The BEST part of the app--It leaves a shadow of the previous frame, allowing user to film more realistic animation. Once my kids and students began utilizing this aspect of the app, it completely upped their movie making game.
Movie making plays a crucial role in education from writing scripts, production/design, collaboration, working in groups, yada, yada, yada. Bottom line: it's important. We can talk about the creativity and imagination, but until we give kids tools and time--they won't be able to practice what we preach.
Stikbot is a free app, you don't need to buy the toys that go with it. Download yourself a copy and see what your students can create.
Take my money, even though it's free.