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GIF Contest: Sniffles and Sneezes

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Contest ended

Monday May 05, 2014


Grand Prize




Honorable Mention

Grand Prize

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Coughs and Sickness


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Winner banner title

Peaked (In the Na...


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An exhausted girl


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Morning Stupor

Honorable Mention

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Banana Dread


Do Not Drink...








Ailing little bunny


Entertainment Stupor


The Gatherers are...


Banana Dread






It's Stupor


Cough and Sneeze




Don't let your Mu...


Ailing GIF


Auto pilot, in fu...



Man, is it cold out there! This is the season for colds, flu, sore throats, and all manner of assorted ailments. Hope you have some aspirin and a bowl of chicken soup handy! Take the temperature of these sickly words...

Take a look at these active words to get a better idea of what we’re talking about. Pick one and create an original GIF image that illustrates the definition of the word. Check out our examples of definition GIFs here.

GIFs are short moving images that loop continuously, so think carefully about your visualization. Your GIF must present both the word and part of speech graphically on-screen, like this. Get creative with looping, time manipulation, stop-motion or any other interesting film device.

The eight words you can choose from are: ailing, peaked, falter, wretched, piteous, fatal, stupor, haggard.

Before you get started, here are the MUST-HAVEs for your GIF:

  • You can choose only one word for your GIF
  • You must use the definition provided below
  • Your GIF must be completely original, i.e. you cannot use images or clips from 3rd parties
  • You must display the word, part of speech, definition, in your GIF

1. Ailing (verb) – visibly suffering from illness

Thought starter: Have you ever played sick? If so, how did you demonstrate that you were ailing? Make a GIF that shows someone who is clearly ailing.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word ailing to describe someone or something clearly suffering from illness. An ailing cat might appear sluggish and weak. If aperson is ailing, theycould be visibly suffering from a bad cold, or something much worse.

2. Peaked (adjective) – sickly-looking

Thought starter: How can others tell when we’re sick? For starters, we probably look pretty run-down, feverish, maybe even pale and sweaty. In other words, peaked. Make a GIF about someone with a particularly peaked appearance.

Pro-tip: Peaked is used by writers to describe someone that appears very tired, worn out, and sickly. A person with a very bad flu, who is pale and has large bags under their eyes, might be described as looking peaked.

3. Stupor (noun) - a condition of shock or dulled senses

Thought starter: Have you ever been so tired and sick that you almost couldn’t think? When you felt like your brain could barely move, you were in a stupor. Make a GIF showing how someone in a stupor might experience the world.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word stupor when talking about someone in a temporarily suspended mental state. Someone hasn’t slept for weeks might walk around in a stupor: dulled and unable to engage with the world around them.

4. Wretched (adjective) – miserable, pitiful

Thought starter: Ever been so sick you just couldn’t get out of bed? Try to remember how you felt, mentally and physically. Make a GIF of someone who clearly feels wretched.

Pro-tip: Wretched is used by writers to describe a pitiful, or miserable state of being. Someone who has just come down with the flu might feel wretched. If this same person looks pale and feverish, the word wretched could describe their appearance.

5. Piteous (adjective) – pathetic, heartbreaking

Thought starter: Ever had your heart broken by sad, puppy-dog eyes? Dogs can give the most piteous looks, but they’re not the only ones. Make a GIF that shows you attempting to get something using your most piteous expression.

Pro-tip: Writers sometimes use the word piteous to describe something or someone who looks weak and worthy of pity. A piteous individual might appear frail and sickly. If they needed your help, they might stare at you with a piteous look in their eye.

6. Fatal (adjective) – deadly

Thought starter: Danger: Poison! We all know not to drink the chemicals stored under our sinks or in our cleaning closets. That could be fatal! Make a cartoonish, funny GIF about someone who accidentally has a run-in with a fatal poison.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word fatal to describe an action that caused, or could cause, death. A car crash that takes that takes someone’s life would be described as a fatal accident. Deadly poisonous chemicals often have a warning label on their bottle that reads, “Fatal if swallowed!”

7. Falter (verb) - to lose strength or momentum

Thought starter: Sometimes you don’t know you’re sick until you suddenly slow...down. When you lose strength and energy, like you’ve suddenly run out of batteries, you have begun to falter. Make a GIF that shows someone slowly falter after going strong.

Pro-tip: Writers use falter when they talk about something suddenly losing strength. Your courage might falter when faced with an especially tough challenge.

8. Haggard (adjective) – looking exhausted and unwell

Pro-tip: Have you ever been sick and looked exactly as bad as you felt? Then you most likely had a haggard appearance. Make a GIF of someone who goes from handsome to haggard in a very short amount of time.

Pro-tip: Writers often use the word haggard to describe someone who appears run-down and worn out. A very old dog on its last legs would probably appear haggard. Someone who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in days due to a terrible cough could look pretty haggard.

Submission requirements:

In your GIF image that is less than 2 MB, you must:

  • Choose one word from the list provided.
  • Show the word, part of speech, and definition graphically on screen throughout the GIF.
  • Clearly demonstrate the meaning of the word.
  • Meet all official rules and requirements.

Key Dates:

  • February 24, 2014 - Contest opens
  • March 24, 2014 - Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • April 21, 2014 - Winners announced on the Project ED website

Finalist and Winner Judging Criteria:

GIFs are evaluated based on the following criteria, weighed equally:

  • Educational merit and accuracy: Your submission achieves the educational goals presented in the contest brief and viewers learn intended material from your video.
  • Creativity and Engagement: Your submission presents educational content in an artistic and innovative way.
  • Appropriate content: Your submission does not contain indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, or offensive material.
  • In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of the tied entrants’ scores in the “Educational merit and accuracy” criteria.


Prizes per contest vary. In the case of winners under the age of 18, prizes will be awarded to a legal parent or guardian. Rules for each contest explain how and when we will notify you and the date the prizes will be announced. Prizes are awarded at Amplify’s discretion and are subject to the applicable district and school policies. Prizes for teachers may be awarded via

Official Requirements:

  • The image’s creator must be 13 or over.
  • Entrants who are minors must obtain a parent’s or guardian’s consent to enter the contest.
  • You must use appropriate language and content.
  • You must properly clear and credit any source film clips, images, or locations you use. To verify winning entries, participants will be asked to submit proof of proper clearances.
  • You can only submit one entry per contest.
  • If you are employed by a school you must ensure your entry into this contest is in compliance with your institution’s policies.
  • Please carefully read the complete rules listed in the Contest Terms.

GIF Examples





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