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GIF Contest: The Little Things

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Contest ended

Monday May 19, 2014


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Some people say, “Don’t sweat the little things.” You know: tiny details, small change, trivial notions. But for a lot of us, this is easier said than done. Sometimes the little things in life are worth extra attention and a closer look.

Take a look at these little 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 on screen, like this. Get creative with looping, time manipulation, stop-motion or any other interesting film device.

Choose one of these six words: trivial, minuscule, trifle, mere, pittance, minute

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

  • Define only one word, using the definitions provided
  • Display the word, part of speech, and definition
  • Use only original content and not images or clips from third parties

1. Trivial (adjective) – of little value or importance

Thought starter: Do you sweat the details? Do you focus on even the most trivial things in your quest for perfection? Make a GIF of someone fussing over a trivial detail.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word trivial to describe something that isn’t very important. If you meet the president, the color of his necktie is trivial information.

2. Minuscule (adjective) – extremely small, tiny

Thought starter: Ever drop something so minuscule that it was nearly impossible to find? Make a GIF of someone searching for, and finding, a minuscule item in very a busy place.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word minuscule to describe something that is very small. A needle would appear minuscule when lost in a haystack.

3. Trifle (noun) – something that is totally unimportant

Thought starter: Is a penny worth much to you? To most of us, this little copper disc is a trifle, not even worth picking up. Make a GIF about treating something like a trifle.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word trifle to refer to something that isn’t important or worthy of much attention. A plastic ring is a trifle when compared to a diamond ring.

4. Mere (adjective) - the smallest or slightest

Thought starter: Do the smallest things sometimes catch your attention? A mere smile from someone you like might make you blush. Make a GIF about someone’s strong reaction to a mere gesture.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word mere to describe the smallest instance of something. The mere smell of bacon might make your mouth water.

5. Pittance (noun) – a very small allowance or wage

Thought starter: Ever worked hard for a pittance, or very little money? Make a GIF of someone who’s unexpectedly paid a pittance for a hard job.

Pro-tip: Writers sometimes use the word pittance to describe a small amount of money. A cheapskate might give her waitress a pittance for a tip.

6. Minute (adjective) – describes something small and unimportant

Thought starter: Imagine a tiny, almost unnoticeable scratch on a beautiful car. This flaw is so minute that it has almost no impact on the car’s appearance. Make a GIF that focuses on a minute detail of something quite large.

Pro-tip: Writers use the word minute to describe something tiny, unimportant, and easy to ignore. A fly is minute when compared to a cow.

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:

  • March 10, 2014 - Contest opens
  • April 7, 2014 - Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • May 5, 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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