Here is a work in progress walk cycle for a HighSchool Animation Class I teach. In this class I cover the 12 principles of animation and teach students how to animate in Adobe Flash and Autodesk Maya. I start students off with a ball bounce in Adobe Flash before Teaching Maya.
In Maya I have students do two ball bounce animations. One where the ball is bouncing in place, and another where the ball bounces down three steps. The transition to animating in 3D can be challenging, I find that a ball bounce is the best way to get students comfortable with using Maya's interface.
After the Ball bounce I go into a walk cycle starting with the lower body. By animating just the lower body students are challenged without getting overwhelmed. I will upload a playblast of the finished lower body walk cycle before we move onto the upper body.
I find it helpful to teach from the hips out since almost every motion we do starts from the hips. For example in a walk cycle we shifting our weight forward starting at the hips and essentially through our feet out in front to catch ourselves. Being consistent in going back to the hips gives students a starting point and helps them learn how to trouble shoot their animations. If there is a problem with the ankle disconnecting from the foot, check the hips and work your way down to the feet. If the knee is popping, go to the Hips and see if that is what is causing it, then work your way down.
-James McWhirter IV