Random ideas for ELT people, plus guest blogs & travel notes

I am very excited to have Özge Karaoğlu as my guest-blogger today. If you’re on twitter, you probably know Özge – she’s the one who fires off about 20 links a day – she’s a one-person PLN, capable of providing you with enough reading and links to write a thesis on teaching English.🙂

I met Özge in Istanbul in September, and I can tell you that the enthusiasm she shows for her work is absolutely infectious.

Özge won the MEDEA Award for Creativity and Innovation this year for Daisy and Drago, the series of animated films she made with her kindergarten pupils. Below, she describes the process that she and her pupils follow to make the films.

I’m an EFL teacher and a teacher trainer in Istanbul,Turkey. I’m also the educational coordinator, script and screenplay writer of “Yes,I Speak English” DVD series in America.

Visit my blog: http://ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org/ or follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ozge

Children and “Teachers” Filming Their Dreams

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

Before you read anything, please watch this video.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbfwba_daisy_shortfilms

Children have great aptitudes, they are open minded, curious, expressive, excited, imaginative, willing, inspired, playful and funny with a great sense of humor all the time. They welcome every opportunity and this may be the reason why they are more creative than we are.

If you are teaching children who are learning English as a foreign language, you know that repetitive stories that cycle the sentences or vocabulary in different context, work better with kids. They learn the story faster. They internalize it and use it into their daily lives easily.

I teach topics such as community helpers, food and drinks, clothes, seasons, body parts with related vocabulary and sentences. I was looking for topic based stories to teach my kindergarten students. I couldn’t find any and decided to create my own stories. My stories have two main characters, Daisy and Drago.

Daisy is the heroine of my stories. Each story tells a new adventure of Daisy and her best friend Drago. I use cardboard with pictures and two puppets of the characters made of paper. They both have their personalities that we decide with kids. Daisy likes playing tennis and eating ice-cream. Her favorite color is red and she wants to be a princess when she grows up whereas Drago wants to be a Spiderman. My dream was to publish my stories one day but something better and magical has happened.🙂

We have animation classes in kindergarten at my school. I thought one of my stories could be a cartoon to be used in our English lessons as a material so we decided to turn it in to a project with Havva Kangal Erdoğan, the animation teacher.

First we decided on the best story that could be animated with kids. I wrote the story and Havva illustrated the pictures. We taught the story in our English lessons. We played games, did re-telling, role-playing, question/answer and craft activities. Students liked and learned the story. They had animation lessons at the same time. When they learnt the basic skills, they started working with the characters.

Drago was difficult to draw so it took more time to get used to the characters. Then, they started animating pictures on light tables in our animation studio. Some students were animating the pictures (making them talk, smile, jump, walk, play etc.) where others were drawing the background or coloring the pictures. When they finished the animation and coloring, we had more than 400 pictures. We scanned them and our technical crew put the pictures together.

Recording students’ voices was the most difficult part, as they were so young, it was hard for them to concentrate, and some of them didn’t have their front teeth so they sometimes had to repeat one sentence more than ten times to get the right intonation and pronunciation. They had to be silent and wait their turns while others were being recorded but they managed to do it!

You can watch our journey of recording here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1352486947893285486#]

We listened the recording from the beginning to choose the best intonation and pronunciation. When we finished with this, pictures and recording were put together and it became Daisy and Drago film.

With this project, our aim was to entertain young learners while they learn a foreign language and help to build permanent learning in English but we achieved more than that. Students created their own material for themselves and others who are learning English that can be used over years; they learnt how to animate pictures, gained artistry and language skills through the production of this film, how to work together as a team and the importance of team work and experienced the enthusiasm and joy of creating a material and audience’s applause.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6109028310424842448#]

I do enjoy being a kindergarten teacher; it makes me feel I am important for someone else and it is very rewarding. Children inspire me every day. You can do as many projects as you can do with older kids. This amazes you and others more, because they are so young and enthusiastic and can do great things in spite of their limited world, with their limited language. This is the story of how we filmed and fulfilled our dreams. I hope you enjoy!

I feel extremely honored to write a guest post on Ken Wilson’s blog! I would like to thank him for sharing his light with us and empowering my PLN.

ozge_karaoglu@hotmail.com

Özge blogs at: http://ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org/

Comments on: "Guest blog 5 – Özge Karaoğlu’s amazing animations" (20)

  1. Ozge,

    Tebrikler ediyorum🙂

    I wonder which passion came first – teaching kids or technology?
    I wouldn’t mind visiting your school and meeting the students one day!

    Keep up the good work!

    Anita

    • Anita,
      Thank you for leaving a comment and your congratulations in Turkish as well =)
      Teaching kids and technology! I can’t do without them! This is my way to keep myself young and motivated =)

  2. shellterrell said:

    Ozge,

    Congratulations again! I’m so happy I got to see you that day when you won the awards. I love the pics of your students preparing the drawings. I really love the amazing projects you do with your students!

    • Shelly,
      You are a true friend and the best thing ever happened to me online!!
      Thank you for coming all the way from your home to Berlin to meet me! It was great to see and share my joy with you!
      I hope everyone will have a chance to meet and laugh with you in person!
      Özge

  3. It is very inspiring guest post.Thanks a lot both of you..

  4. Dear Ozge

    What you are doing with your very lucky pupils is something truly amazing and spectacular. The photos above of the children busy drawing and designing their very special work are absolutely lovely.

    You are a shining star who inspires so many teachers to do their utmost best. Many congratulations!!

    PS
    Your beautiful personality radiates through the Internet. I would love to meet you in person one day.

    • Dear Janet,
      What a lovely comment!It was just so heart warming to read it!
      Working with children truly rewarding, I keep on learning new things and enjoying every minute of my life at school! Even though they are young, it’s amazing to see how they produce the language and can get involved in projects once they are led.
      I am sure one day, our paths will cross somewhere and we’ll have a lot to talk then …
      Thank you a million times =)
      Özge

  5. Callie Wilkinson said:

    Hi Ozge,

    I am simply AMAZED at what you’ve been able to achieve with such young children – it’s a real inspiration to me, both as a teacher and a mother. The kids must adore you and your colleagues to have the perseverance they demonstrated in your clips! Especially sweet was the little “ice cream” boy🙂
    I teach adults – the youngest are late teens, but I’m sure there are opportunities for using animation with them too.
    Thanks to the recommendations you’ve made on your blog and twitter, my children (6 & 8 ) are now taking more interest in technology than they ever have before, and I think, before long, they will be teaching me to this end!

    Like Anita, I hope to meet you too one day!

    Best, Callie

    • Dear Callie,
      I had a wonderful time with kids at every stage of this project. If you put the right objectives, they can achieve anything and even surprise you with their talents! Here is the second film of Daisy and Drago, you can watch it as well =)

      This year, we’ll have new characters, I hope kids will have fun while animating them =)
      We can even collaborate on an animation project, because we have older kids at school who are animating films. What do you think?
      and thank you Callie!You’re a great teacher and tweeter. I’m so happy that you are a part of my PLN!
      Talk to you soon on skype =)
      Özge

      • Callie Wilkinson said:

        Wow. I’m genuinely touched by your comments. A collaboration sounds very exciting – and extremely generous. I have so much to learn from you, as does the rest of your PLN – we are the ones who should be happy!
        Skype you very soon,
        Callie🙂

  6. Dear Ozge,

    This is simply amazing! I see these kids as the next generation of animators with Pixar or Walt Disney Companies! (I would have named a Turkish cartoon company but, I’m sorry, I don’t know any…)

    I am really impressed with all the passion you’ve put into this and the work, and the kids… don’t you feel like taking all of them home with you? This is my ‘barometer’, when I start feeling I’d take my students home with me, it means they’ve got stuck to my heart…

    Congratulations on this post and the course and the kids!
    Best wishes,

    Melania

    • Dear Melanie,
      I feel exactly the same when you say “taking them home”. I haven’t laughed more in my life since I started working with kids. They are joyful, cheerful and motivated all the time. They respond with enthusiasm everything to you do with them so this makes it easier to work with.
      Thank you very much for your kind comment,

      ozge

  7. Congratulations Özge from my sister Eugenia (also an English teacher) and myself – we read your blog with great interest and watched your fantastic videos as well! Congratulations to the children as well!
    We are so enthused with your project, it is wonderful! The fact that such young kids collaborate with you on it is admirable!
    We hope to see more of your work in the future and we hope to meet you in person as well!
    Many many congratulations again!
    Eugenia and Vicky Loras

    • Dear Eugenia and Vicky,
      Nice to meet you here! I’m very pleased that you liked the project. These feedbacks are very valuable for me! I’m more motivated than ever now!! Thank you so much for your comment and lovely words. I hope to meet both of you in person too!
      ozge

  8. Dear Ozge,

    Congrats again! You are so inspirational, and it is a pleasure to work with you.

    Regards,

    Fulya

  9. Dear Fulya,
    This is so sweet of you! It’s a great pleasure to hear this comment from a very succesfull colleague of mine! Thank you soooo much!!
    Özge

  10. Hi Özge,

    I just watched your animation – and the MARVELLOUS clip of the kids saying their lines.

    Wonderful. Completely. The rest of today (Wednesday – there’s not much left of it) feels better already!

    Thanks.

    Jeremy

  11. Wow, this is really cool. You’re so lucky to have the ability to do this in your classes and your students are so lucky to have a teacher like you that gives them such creative opportunities.

    Honestly, I think this is one of the most amazing English projects I’ve ever seen.

    Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: