Toons to teach proverbs

Published: 24 December, 2013 03:56 IST | Hassan M Kamal |

This weekend, kids will learn about new proverbs and use their imagination to tell stories around them using animation techniques

Most of us have grown up watching cartoons, but it was always for fun. Now, a new animation workshop aims to use this medium, to help children have fun while they learn about new proverbs, and the laws of physics and mathematics that govern the universe.

A kid working on a drawing board

Animation Through Proverbs is a cut-out animation workshop for kids between 7 and 14 years that will be based on Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel’s painting, Netherlandish Proverbs. The painting is a part of an upcoming exhibit, Masterpieces From Antwerp from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, opening at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) on December 28.

A still from the animation film Children of The World

Using animation as an agent to ignite kids’ creativity, the workshop, will introduce these young minds to different proverbs found in the painting, and then will require them to create an animation film around a proverb of their choice.

“We will be screening Netherlandish Proverb to children, telling them of the different proverbs captured in it, and the stories behind them. Then we will ask the children, to come up with a storyboard for a proverb of their choice, and teach them how to make an animation film around it,” says Tehzeeb Khurana of Toon Club, who will be conducting the workshop.

Kids taking part in a previous workshop organised by Toon Club

Though the focus is on linguistic skills, Khurana says that the two-day workshop goes beyond that. “It’s also about storytelling and creativity. Today’s kids are well-informed. Most of them would probably already know the proverbs. But what is happening is that because there’s so much of exposure, there’s very little retention. This workshop aims to help them learn to apply information, and use it creatively. It will get them to think of ideas and be more creative. It’s a crucial aspect that our education system fails to achieve,” she says.

Khurana had conducted a similar workshop when the CSMVS showcased The Egyptian Mummy exhibition, in November 2012, and drew up the idea of using animation for children’s education while working with her five-year-old son. “Children love animation, and people around the world are using it for education purposes. Most people think, animation is all about computers, which is incorrect. Computers arrived later; the first stage is learning how to draw, to understand the fine elements of storytelling and music, and how the laws of physics and mathematics apply to it. Kids at the workshop will learn all of this without reading textbooks,” she elaborates, adding, “workshops that we have done in the past have created several award-winning films including Children of the World, created by grade five students of Ecole Mondiale World School; and For The Love Of A Cat by grade seven students.”

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