Cowboy Mutant Golfers and Dreamcatcher Dogs: Making Space for Popular Culture in Animation Production with Children
Animation is a significant form in children's lives. Animated films and television programs make up a substantial part of their experience of narratives and as such are an important resource in their talk and play. Making space in schools for this aspect of children's repertoires of narrative, even in the context of animated film production, can be challenging. In this article I explore some of the barriers to incorporating children's experiences of animation and then offer an account of an activity in which six fifth-year children were encouraged to draw on their popular culture experiences of animation in their text productions. These data demonstrate the way the children were able to create meaning using the affordances of all the modes of animation, revealing their implicit understandings of narrative conventions. The data raise questions regarding what constitutes good and acceptable storytelling in animated films in school and how to accommodate collaborative, hybrid, and transgressive texts and text production in the primary classroom. Finally, I examine the way in which the currency of popular culture affects the hierarchy of learners and the necessity of finding new ways to enable children to share their funds of knowledge about animation in the classroom.