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Cartoon Animation and Films in Literature: Intrinsic to Physics

Author: Bonnee L. Breese


Overbrook High School

Year: 2007

Seminar: Physics in the Arts

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: cartoon animation, English Language Arts, film, film editing, literacy terms, Making connections, Math, physics, physics vocabulary, Science

School Subject(s): Film, Language Arts, Math, Physics, Science, Visual Art

This curriculum unit is written to increase basic knowledge and awareness for students and teachers in approaching the subject of physics in the English Language Arts classroom setting. Students should be able to learn what is apparent in combining everyday connections to the laws of physics and the world around them, in where they live, and in how they learn and play. In my English Language Arts classroom, I will prepare students to reach beyond just the standardized curricular literary canon in a way that will intrigue students to begin to notice physics. Students will be led to discover the uses of physics in cartoon animation and some film direction with consideration to editorial cut choices for use in cinematic technique and animation. In this way, I will introduce students to the language and problem solving found in the study of physics used in cartoons and film. Students will view the scope of science in its uses in animation, increasing their physics vocabulary and in continued understanding of literary terms. Having this knowledge introduced to them, students will learn formula abbreviations and mathematical equations used in physics.

The study will be arranged so that students can be brought to a level of higher order thinking and analysis. By thinking carefully about the relationship between physics and carton animation and film editorial techniques, they will discover the editorial choices driving the plot, which are guided by the forces of physics. This aspect of the study will be used in respect to mental imagery in both visual and written perspectives of fiction and non-fiction and how physics helps to progressively move the plot of the story. Students will learn that bringing scientific knowledge into the English Language Arts classroom will expand their breadth of knowledge and give them a broader foundation in the discovery of physics in their lives. Students will also be engaged to embrace science as a subject that does not have to be looked upon as a subject for the “smarter” student but a subject that all can learn and enjoy.

The curriculum unit, “Cartoon Animation & Films in Literature: Intrinsic to Physics” will allow students to explore the world around them through a scientific viewpoint. This unit will also offer students a glance at the concept of computer graphic animation in relation to the ever-growing and vast realms of film, which includes computer-animated characters. While looking at cartoon animation and film, with the focus on the story, students will examine the rules and laws of physics, in relation to principles that may or may not be broken, as written or viewed by varied authors and film animation directors/cartoonists.

In view of the central themes of this study, students will become more attentive in their own interest in science. This unit will further intrigue students to become interested in how the sciences guide many animation principles as seen through the lens of the laws of physics. These laws, specific in governing many cartoon animations and not as many in films in regard to their progression and development.

Download Unit: 07.06.04.pdf

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