Animation brings new way to Blackfoot language classes.

Photo by Tawnya Plain Eagle.
By Tawnya Plain Eagle

Grade 9 students from F.P. Walshe are taking Blackfoot language classes to a new level. 

For two weeks in January Indigenous and Non – Indigenous students from FP Walshe are taking part in a two week Blackfoot animation project.

Teaching the language through animation has been Celestine Twigg’s goal since she began teaching Blackfoot at the school.

“The Blackfoot language is tough to learn, so I am always thinking of different ways for the students to learn,” Twigg said. 

This current animation project allows the students to learn Blackfoot by creating an animated picture while including Blackfoot language and sounds.

“Think of how kids learned from sesame street, they learned how to speak English, we could learn the same way,” Twigg said. 

FP Walshe had partnered with the Calgary Animated Objects Society (CAOS) to assist the youth with creating these projects but also to provide with them post-secondary options. 

Christine Cook, Artistic director for CAOS, is working with these students to make these animated projects and speak about the Canada Learning bond, which many students could benefit from. 

A group of your learning animation through digital media on Jan. 20, 2020. Video by Tawnya Plain Eagle.

The Canada Learning Bond is a grant to help eligible families with the cost of their child’s education after high school. 

Cook and Twigg believe this partnership will benefit the students with enhancing their knowledge of the Blackfoot language and learning their options for post-secondary. 

Each participating student will be assigned a series of colours, animals, or numbers in Blackfoot, where they’ll be challenged to design an animated picture that goes along with that word. 

They’ll need to learn how to properly pronounce that word and development a concept that relates to the word they are given.

“I’m really excited for this, these kids are so creative, I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with,” Twigg added. 

The final product will take a few weeks to complete.

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