Monday, January 30, 2012

Schools : The love of books ! Animated short film & app

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" (2011) won Best Show Award at Computer Animation Festival AwardsSiggraph 2011.

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. 

Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and Technicolor musicals."

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg

Last week, on January 24, 2012, the Academy announced the nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. And The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011) is one of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011. The winner Short Film (animated.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


"The award-winning short film is now an interactive narrative experience. William Joyce's "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore", blurs the line between picture books and animated film."

I love books! I love to read! I watched "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" and I am completely fascinated. And the end is so touching!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

What a lovely motivation to share the love of books and the love of reading in languages school curriculum!

As educators, can we make every day a World Book Day? Yes! We can! And this short animated narrative can be a marvelous interactive resource to do it!

I know how students love to read when their teachers love books. I can assure you. It's a transmissible love! Even to those students that are poor readers. 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

It occurred to me that there is a simple pedagogical principle that explains the appeal of very early learning, homeschooling. Reading begans at home, with parents since childhood. But sometimes this is not possible. There are some parents poor readers as well.

So teachers are important references to students. We must valorize books and reading in the classroom! And we can do a better job if we are rich readers.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" app can be used in the classroom as a beautiful motivation to introduce the values:  
  • love for books
  • love for libraries
  • love for knowledge
Remembering some o posts about The importance of reading in school or Prince of Persia: an interesting narrative text (you will find several posts about the Narrative text on my blog).


Based on the illustrated picture-book and award-winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, this app will have you immersed in the story of Morris, who finds comfort in stories and devotes his life to books when all else is lost.

Interactive children's books for the iPad are becoming more engaging and, in some cases, are visually stunning. Remember Alice in Wonderland for iPad or iPad features & Education.

SynopsisInspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. 

Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Other values: 
  • Narrative is central to children’s and young students learning. They use it as a tool to help them organise their ideas and to explore new ideas and experiences.
  • The children and adolescents love play a book character, it means they end up owning a new vision about the narrative. 
  • Composing stories, whether told or written, involves a set of skills and authorial knowledge but is also an essential means for children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively.
  • School library will have a symbolic place in the school. Sudents will go the the school library with more enthusiasm for finding new books and new readings.
  • The school librairian teacher's role implementing a good choice of books, and implmenting eReaders into the school libraries. But implementing e-reeders into school libraries program is about more than just jumping on the latest technological bandwagon or attempting to reinvent the library in order to stay relevant. It’s about good practices in school library, an impressive support for students.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

School curriculum:
  • Curriculum: Mother Language; Foreign Languages; Arts; Music, other.
  • Levels: Kindergarten; Primary education; Secondary education ; further education.
  • App iPad
  • Price: $4,99€.

Some thoughts:

The importance of reading in the school! No matter the resources we can choose on formal learning and informal learning. 

Don't underestimate the power of magic of reading in the classroom with your students appealing to all these wonderful digital resources.

Chidren and young adolescents love this kind of stories, right? It's a captivating narrative text, with lots of magic, adventure and special values. Love of books, love of libraries.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The love of books and love of reading must begin in kindergarten to be continued on primary, elementary and secondary education.

One important point: schools need more time for reading aloud, choosing and sharing the pleasure of reading books and not just extracts. However, teachers can make reading exciting all through the year.

I quite agree about the encouragement and success of World Book DayWorld Book Day always generates huge enthusiasm for reading in children's school.

If I have any suggestions as how can schools keep that excitement about reading going all through the school? Yes! I have! Loving to read! And loving libraries, loving book stores.

Go to the the public librairies and book stores with your students. Encourage them to buy their own books. Whether they spend their pocket money on a book means every child can add a title to his 'book store'. 

All research shows that owning books plays a key role in encouraging reading and we need to do all we can to make that happen.

Finally, students get better results in other school matters such as sciences, maths, history or geography, because everything goes through the reading skills.

Seeing students utilize the information literacy skills we have previously taught them in a new context and independently is probably one of the most joyful experiences as an educator.  

"Books are both object and idea. Tangible in form, intangible in content, they express the mind of an author and find meaning in the imagination of readers.  

Reading is this private conversation, but books are all about sharing - sharing experience, knowledge and understanding." 

Irina Bokova, Director-General of  UNESCO


Copyright © 2012G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons
Schools : The Love of Books !  Animated short film & app bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Credits: video Moonbot Studios LA LLC

Images: iTunes

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eh! Oui! On parle de droits des enfants?

Shakira et le Ministre de la Cultura
Photo: AFP | Getty Images

La chanteuse colombienne Shakira a été doublement distinguée à Cannes,  à l'occasion du 46ème Marché International du Disque et de la Musique Enregistrée (MIDEM) qui se tient actuellement à Cannes.

Shakira a été décorée  'Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres'.

"Vous apportez la gaité et l'impression de se sentir meilleurs "
Ministre de la Culture de France

Quelques heures plus tard, Shakira est apparue rayonnante sur le tapis rouge du Palais des Congrès et des Festivals pour la 13e Cérémonie des NRJ Music Awards

Shakira y a reçu un Award pour son rayonnement international des mains de Johnny Hallyday. Ovationnée après son interprétation de son nouveau single " Je l’aime à mourir", reprise de Francis Cabrel.

"C'est une renaissance. C'est miraculeux de voir une chanson comme ça  dans la bouche d'une aussi jeune fille. La chanson a continué à vivre et  voilà qu'elle ressuscite aujourd'hui. Elle y ajoute de la sensualité…  Je ne peux que remercier Shakira de cette interprétation."

Francis Cabrel


Et pourquoi pas la faire écouter dans la salle de classe à propos de la défense des droits à l'éducation pour tous et le dévelopement des enfants en particulier la santé, l'alimentation et l'éducation?

Shakira est une jeune femme engagée aux droits des enfants en Colombie, en Améirique Latine et dans le monde.

En Octobre 2011, le président Obama a nommé Shakira comme Présidente la Commission Consultative sur l'excellence éducative pour les Hispaniques, une commission qui conseille Obama et la secrétaire Arne Duncan sur les questions de réussite éducative liée à des étudiants hispaniques.

Faire comparer les droits des enfants dans différents pays du monde? Un travail asseez intéressant à proposer aux élèves.


Copyright © 2012G-Souto'sBlog,

Licença Creative Commons
Eh! Oui! On parle de droits des enfants? by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Students! Your idea on space!

Homepage Image of © YouTube Space Lab

The European Space Agency has a responsibility to educate the youth of Europe in matters concerning space exploration and it is constantly looking for new ways to engage educators and their students. 

As the power of social media grows, ESA and YouTube Lab Space have decided to make the most of it: promoting scientific experimentation in space. 

It is not the first time that YouTube is engaging young students in different school curriculum. 

Remember YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011Last year, millions of video views, and 101 musicians from 33 countries who uploaded videos to YouTube of themselves auditioning for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 and  saw their dreams come true.

Now, YouTube Space Lab. YouTube believes that space is more exciting and accessible than ever. And it is!

YouTube Space Lab is an innovative venture that will see Google working with the ESA, Lenovo, NASA, JAXA and Space Adventures to promote scientific experimentation on space. 

On this channel, you can discover space by watching the amazing videos we find from across YouTube. 


Students interested in science - Biology and Physics - between 14-18 years were challenged to come up with a science experiment which will be streamed live on YouTube from the International Space Station, along with other great prizes. 

Young people suggested an experiment that could be done on space, The application needed to be made in the form of an explanatory video posted to YouTube before 7th December 2011. 

The shortlist of 60 candidates (between 5.500 candidates) was published the first week of January 2012. 

Overall, the US led with 10 finalists, followed by India with nine. Rounding out the top five countries in terms of total submissions are Poland, Canada and Spain. 

European countries contributed with 21 finalists.

Candidates was selected by a panel of international judges including astronauts from JAXA, NASA, CSA and the ESA, Bertrand Piccard and Stephen Hawking. 

The YouTube community was called until yesterday, January 24th, to help judges make their choices.

This will then be whittled down through a combination of public votes and the decisions of the panel. Two overall winners will be selected in March.


The winning experiment will be conducted on the International Space Station and streamed via YouTube across the world. Wow! Such an adventure! And emotion, of course!

As if this were not impressive enough, the project is offering additional incentives including computers, trips to Japan or Russia and the opportunity to experience a zero-gravity flight.

This is a wonderful chance to inspire interest in Science and space exploration of young students as competitors and the audience around the world.

"The YouTube Space Lab campaign is an excellent, creative way of reaching out to future generations of scientists, on the ground and in orbit. Today, numerous fundamental and applied research experiments in life and physical sciences, Earth and space monitoring as well as technology and education are performed on our Columbus laboratory on the ISS, closely coupled to terrestrial research programmes and issues."

Thomas Reiter of the ESA

Between the 60 candidates, two Portuguese teams were selected. Now, on the semi-final, there is one Portuguese team:

"O ex-aluno da ESTP Guilherme Aresta, atualmente a frequentar o 1º ano do Mestrado Integrado em Bioengenharia na FEUP - Universidade do Porto, juntamente com mais dois colegas de curso, foi aprovado recentemente para a fase final do YouTube Space Lab."

Segundo Guilherme Aresta, o objetivo da experiência proposta é "aumentar o rendimento da produção de biocombustíveis", isto é, utilizar a mesma levedura da cerveja para produzir esse tipo de energia.

Poderá ver a equipa portuguesa neste link

YouTube users and the judging panel will determine six regional winners:

Two teams from each of the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific).

Finalists will travel to Washington, DC, for special events, including the opportunity to take a zero-G flight.

European finalists will also win a visit to the training facilities of ESA's European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany.

Education: some conclusions

  • As we could see - 5500 young candidates, is an impressive number! - students are very creative and do wonderful things, in this case, Science and IT, when they are challenged to show their creativity and critical thinking;
  • Educators could also get on board with the competition. YouTube  suggested lesson plans and other dedicated resources for teachers who want to incorporate YouTube Space Lab into their classroom; 
  • The jury will be looking at how creatively students explain and communicate their idea.
  • The two global winners will see their experiments sent into orbit and performed on the Space Station in summer 2012 – live-streamed on YouTube from space.
  • Classrooms around the world will be able to watch a live stream on YouTube as the experiments are performed in space.

“If our competition can just play a small part in getting kids interested in science, then we’ll be very, very happy,” (...) “My vision is the final live stream will be the world’s largest science classroom.”

Zahaan Bharmal* 



Copyright © 2012G-Souto'sBlog,

Licença Creative Commons
Students! Your idea on space by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
* Note: Zahaan Bharmal went on to study physics at Oxford University before joining Google and has been a vocal proponent of teaching young people about space. Now he is Google’s head of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Youtbe Space Lab

European finalists selected in Space Lab students competion

Youtube Space Lab - Guilherme Aresta no espaço | ESTP

Para o espaço e mais além

Youtube Space Lab | Equipa portuguesa finalista