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Welcome to toon town


Ages 7 to 18

Gorseville is an imaginary French town situated on my dining room table. It features characters and locations bought at the Early Learning Centre (Happyland range). My pupils record the voices of the characters in French and, at the weekend, my own children bring them to life with stop-motion animation. At this early stage, the ongoing project features a purchase at the market stall, a pedestrian asking directions, and the arrival of a young English tourist who sends a video postcard.

The process is time-consuming, but inspires and motivates pupils - they all want to appear animated in Gorseville. It is a resource I have made available to other teachers.

The process is as follows:

- I record the monologuedialogue at school.

- I save it on a pen drive and bring it home.

- My children set up the characters on Saturday morning.

- Using my standard digital video camera, I take a still picture.

- We move the people a bit and take another snap.

- On the PC, we import the pictures and sounds to Windows Movie Maker - it is all drag and paste.

- Patience is required to synchronise the movements and musicsounds.

- It is saved as a movie file.

- Finally it is uploaded to YouTube or somewhere similar

Stuart Gorse teaches modern languages at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

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