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English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy

Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives

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Len Unsworth and Angela Thomas

English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy: Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives is about the fusion of media and narrative, and explores theoretical and practical dimensions of young people’s engagement with contemporary forms of text. It showcases a range of critical interpretative approaches for integrating multimedia narratives into English teaching contexts, including animated films such as Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing, digital novels such as Inanimate Alice and 5 Haitis, and a virtual treatment of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. English teachers across grade levels will recognize the valuing of literature and will appreciate the practical pedagogy and fostering of creativity as students are encouraged to explore new forms of narrative. In the context of developing expertise in knowing how multimodal texts work, students can apply that knowledge in their own authoring of digital multimedia narratives.
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Chapter 6: the Image/Language Interface in Picture Books as Animated Films: A Focus for New Narrative Interpretation and Composition Pedagogies

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← 104 | 105 → CHAPTER SIX

A Focus for New Narrative Interpretation and Composition Pedagogies

The appearance of movie versions of established literary picture books is frequently highly celebrated within broad popular culture, as was the case, for example, with the movie Where the Wild Things Are (Jonze, 2009), based on Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book (1962), the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox (Anderson, 2009), based on the picture book by Roald Dahl (1974), and the movie The Polar Express (Zemeckis, 2004), based on the well-known picture book by Chris Van Allsburg (1985). Like the original picture books, the movies attract a wide age-range of enthusiastic viewers among their audiences. This bridging of established literary culture with popular culture films provides the potential for a highly engaging pedagogic context in which teachers and children can together investigate the relationships between the books and movie versions of the stories. Through enjoyable learning experiences teachers can enhance students’ appreciation of the interpretive possibilities of the story and how they may be similar and different in the different versions, while simultaneously developing the students’ explicit understanding of how the meaning-making resources of image and language (as well as sound and music) are deployed to construct those interpretive possibilities. The release of the first Shrek movie (Elliott, 2001) drew attention to the different nature of the original picture book by William Steig (1990) from which ← 105 | 106 → the movie was derived but also provided opportunities to compare the original book with e-books that...

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