Over the last few days, keen animator and fan of PowerPoint, 16 year old Julien B from Marseille has been publishing some truly wonderful interpretations of the famous 17th century fables by Jean de la Fontaine on his YouTube channel misterallanpoe. Made in the genre of a silent movie, each clip tells its own story simply and effectively using a range of techniques to bring the action to life.
As Julien has kindly provided a download link for each PowerPoint, you can unpick exactly how he achieves each effect and perhaps copy the ideas to tell your own stories in a language of your choice. This could be a great way to encourage your pupils to try out some digital storytelling using an authentic resource as a springboard for their own ideas and creativity.
The fables so far include:
- Le Corbeau et le Renard
- La Cigogne et le Loup
- Le Renard et la Grappe de Raisins
- La Grenouille et le Boeuf
- La Cigale et la Fourmi
- Le Héron
To download the presentations, click on one of the above and copy the link in the onscreen prompt or click on the (more info) link underneath each clip in YouTube and then the click the direct link from there. This will take you to the relevant page on Megaupload, the site Julien has used to upload his PowerPoints where you have to type in a four character code before clicking the download file button. Wait 45 seconds and then click the Regular download button. Click Save on the dialogue box which appears and choose where you want to download the file. Easy.
I hope you find them as inspiring as I have done.
If like language teacher, Rob Courtney, you were trying out the beta version of PowerPoint 2010 you would be able to convert your animations into a wmv movie file and upload them on to a video-sharing site such as Blip.tv.
Have a look at his Grammar channel to see the things you need to know about German. Camtasia Studio also lets you record your PowerPoints in a variety of formats or there is the DIY approach where you save your presentation as image files and import them into Movie Maker.
For more ideas on using animation in the MFL classroom, have a look at this article which appeared in yesterday's TESS featuring Mark Pentleton, some plasticine, a Mac Book and lots of Mandarin Chinese!
If making comics is more your thing, have a look at this how-to-guide using PowerPoint 2007 presented by Ollie Bray who has written extensively about the subject on his popular blog. As well as PowerPoint, Ollie uses a range of free tools including ComicBrush, Pixton and ToonDoo and speaks highly of the eduational benefits of doing so.
There's also this video case study filmed for CILT in 2008 where Gemma Fordyce shows how to create comics in Word to develop writing skills and engender a sense of achievement in pupils who find foreign language study challenging.
For more inspiration on the potential of comics in the classroom, check out this brilliant Google Doc which has been put together by a number of different teachers and contains many useful tips and tricks.