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Teaching to young children the power of the images
Animation with second graders
Published on July 4, 2021
At the Anatole France school in Courbevoie, France, a teacher, Béatrice Chennebault, accompanies her CE1 students in the production of a stop-motion animation. Chennebault has an ambitious goal for her creative exercise: to make students sensitive to the value, function and potential for playfulness in the image.
Ecole Anatole France
Location: Courbevoie, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Number of Students: 365
Statut : Public
Amid an avalanche of multimedia stimulation, a new priority has emerged among educators: teaching children how to analyze images and information. What better way to do that than by getting them to create images and films themselves?
This was Béatrice Chennebault’s idea when she started an animation workshop in Courbevoie, a northwestern suburb of Paris. In Anatole France School, kids learn how to create images… and how to manipulate them. Starting with a book of pictures, they write a story, build sets and use figures to make a stop-motion short.
In another workshop, children are introduced to the idea of the ‘mashup’ – combining images from different sources to give them a fresh meaning. It’s a clever strategy to make young children understand that you can make pictures say whatever you want, depending on how you use them.
Teachers in these cinema workshops are aware that, increasingly in our era, the priority is no longer knowledge – which is available everywhere – but the ability to analyze and sort information. How to recognize and reject ‘fake news’, for example.
Béatrice Chennebault: “Until children experiment with images, they don’t understand the principles of breaking down action and editing. Discovering that their work can bring images to life and tell a story is a revelation for them. Understanding these techniques is an important step towards developing a sensible attitude to images.”