Classical animation is the basis for all other forms of animation. The world's best animation schools require classical animation as part of their admissions portfolio. Their reasoning is that they can teach anyone how to use software, but it takes far longer to teach someone how to actually animate. In classical animation, the animator must explicitly use each principle of animation in order to make fluid, pleasing products. Using software allows animators to "cheat" since the software looks after such key principles as "in-betweens" and easing. The best way to learn to animate is to go back to the Classical way of doing it. You NEED to have drawing skills to get good at animation.
A FUNdamental skill in animation is creating the famous bouncing ball. This seems so easy, but it is so difficult to do well. In fact, many professional animators practice this same assignment regularly. And almost all of them started their animation careers by doing it. One professional animator in Toronto even told me that any applicant for an animation job at his firm needs to create the bouncing ball during an extended interview. So, this assignment is as important as they get.
To do this well, you need to implement at least 4 of the crucial Principles of Animation: Arcs, Timing/Spacing, Squash and Stretch, and Volume/Solid Drawing.
Be sure to pay attention to these concepts. They are the keys to a successful bouncing ball. Without them, you could probably finish this in a period or two. But in using them, you will likely make good use of an eraser.
Here are the learning goals for the Classical Animation unit:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?)