Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 5/progression week

This week the first thing we did was share our project progress one by one to the class and talk about everything we have done so far for our children’s resource and what ideas we’ve had so far along with what we intend to do yet.

(Unit 10 2.1)- I told everyone that I had started taking the background photos of the beach I visited a few weeks ago explaining that they would be used as either part of my storybook itself or as inspiration for content-to-be (which I showed to everyone.) I also stated that I’m currently in the process of my character’s concept art for my illustrations and am creating a survey using Survey Monkey for which I will be sending to those who have a child or know a child between the ages of 6-8 years old.

Libby gave me feedback in response to this that the photos I took for the backgrounds were a really great was to portray the dangers of the sea but still in a child-friendly manner. Holly commented on the photos saying that they were taken in an angle that meant I could put the characters on objects such as wooden railings and stone walls for example.

The feedback then turned to characters and despite the concept art process still in production we had a comment raised about having the weather as a character such as the sun and clouds showing the dangers following change in weather at the beach. When asked what other characters I would have in the storybook I said hat they would all resemble seaside creatures like crabs and sea snails. Following on from the feedback I previously received about having a reoccurring character, I have included this into my book as ‘Sandy the seagull’.

 

Our typography lecture this week focused on design and layout mainly regarding text and columns.Firstly, we looked at justified text alignment which where white spaces are added in between words so that all lines of text are the same length in their columns, which makes the text look cleaner and more professional. This element of typography is definitely something I’ll need to consider for my children’s book as whatever text and font I use it will need to have a form of alignment that makes it clear to read yest still looking professional.

We also looked at widows and orphans- a widow is a line of text forced to be alone on a block of text whereas an orphan is a single word at the end of a paragraph.

opusdesign-widows-orphans(Curren, E, 2013)

Another part of this typography lecture we learned was about a hierarchy which is essentially a method or organising type in the order of importance within the data or information (Loyd, J, 2013). This makes life a lot easier for the reader to search for the information they need (Loyd, J, 2013) and is widely used for many magazine spreads as subheadings, headlines and pull-quotes to separate them apart.

One part of the lecture I found particularly was the rule-of-thirds since it applied to the photography work I’ll be using in my storybook. It told us how the rule of thirds would help make the photo look more aligned, especially with people in the picture. Even though my characters would be hand-illustrated this still applied to my photos since I needed them to allow my characters to sit in this position.

Evidence of selecting appropriate media and processes to communicate my idea (Unit 10 2.2):

(Unit 10 2.2)- This week’s Photoshop session gave me an awful lot of helpful resources this week, especially for when it comes to filling the colours for my illustrations. Even though I didn’t have them on hand I can easily practice these in my own time which will also help me get ahead of time if anything happens.

week-5-photoshop-notes

(Unit 10 2.1)- My main focuses over this week and over the half term will be to: start creating a storyboard for my book involving an outline of the story (I will be doing five spreads each dealing with a specific issue of sea safety) where I will also incorporate my photos to this.

Examples of my production work to date, which illustrate how I’m exploring different approaches and media (Unit 10 2.2):

Another will to obviously complete the concept illustrations for my characters- which I have already made a firm start on. Over this week though I will create my other characters whilst using my photo backgrounds as a guide depending on their sizes, positions and part in the story. Here are some of the illustrations I have created so far:

 

(Unit 10 1.2)- Another thing will be my Survey Monkey survey; I started it earlier this week after seeing a couple of others doing the same research for their project. Since production will begin after half term, this will give me the adequate time to send it to my audience (those with children/who know children aged 5-11 years old), gather and analyse my responses and, if necessary, change my ideas according to them. Using my previous email interview as guidance, here is my survey:

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Which four designer’s work have influenced my own design solutions for this project and why?

(Unit 10 1.2)- As further inspiration for my children’s storybook, I have also been advised to loo up four existing designers who’s work will influence my project. This can be anything from the text style, layout, characters and colours used and I have also included screenshots to show the example of the designer’s work.

designer-research

 

bibliography (Including designer research):

Alley, R. (2016). Paddington Treasure Box. [image] Available at: http://www.rwalley.com/_center__b__font_color__green___font_size__3__paddington_books__font___font___b__124057.htm [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Alley, R. (2016). Paddington Bear books. [image] Available at: http://www.rwalley.com/disc.htm [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Alley, R. (2016). Paddington Bear books. [image] Available at: http://www.rwalley.com/disc.htm [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Alley, R. (2016). Paddington Bear in the Garden. [image] Available at: http://www.paddington.com/us/books/picture-books/paddington-bear-in-the-garden/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Child, L. (2006). We honestly can look after your dog. New York: Grosset & Dunlap.

Child, L. (2006). We honestly can look after your dog. New York: Grosset & Dunlap.

Child, L. (2006). We honestly can look after your dog. New York: Grosset & Dunlap.

Creativity Institute, (2015) available at: (Accessed: 21st September 2016).

Curran, E. (2013). What are widows and orphans? Opus Design Boston. [online] Opus Design — Graphic Design, Web Design & Infographics Boston. Available at: http://opusdesign.us/typographic-widows-orphans/ [Accessed 21 Oct. 2016].

Davis, J. ‘Garfield’ (1981) Garfield, 21 March, Unknown page.

Davis, J. ‘Garfield’ (1984) Garfield, 27 November, Unknown page.

Davis, J. ‘Garfield’ (1985) Garfield, 22 September, Unknown page.

Flynn, I. ‘Part One of…Er…One’ (2014) Sonic Boom, 29 October, pp. 8. Available at: http://www.howtolovecomics.com/2014/10/26/preview-sonic-boom-comic-1/ (Accessed: 23rd October 2016)

Flynn, I. ‘Part One of…Er…One’ (2014) Sonic Boom, 29 October, pp. 8. Available at: http://www.howtolovecomics.com/2014/10/26/preview-sonic-boom-comic-1/ (Accessed: 23rd October 2016).

Flynn, I. ‘Knuckleduster’ (2014) Sonic Boom, 3 December, pp. 5. Available at: http://en.sonicscanf.org/comics/sonic-boom/02/#6 (Accessed: 23rd October 2016).

Loyd, J. (2013). Understanding Typographic Hierarchy. [online] Web Design Envato Tuts+. Available at: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/understanding-typographic-hierarchy–webdesign-11636 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2016].

Loyd, J. (2013). Understanding Typographic Hierarchy. [online] Web Design Envato Tuts+. Available at: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/understanding-typographic-hierarchy–webdesign-11636 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2016].

Paddington.com. (2016). R.W. Alley. [online] Available at: http://www.paddington.com/gb/books/illustrators/rw-alley/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Stanley, E. Unknown comic title (2016) Ghosts of the Future, 24 September, pp. 34. Available at: http://evanstanley.deviantart.com/art/GOTF-issue-14-page-34-636405195 (Accessed 28th October 2016).

Stanley, E. Unknown comic title (2016) Ghosts of the Future, 3 April, pp. 10. Available at: http://evanstanley.deviantart.com/art/GOTF-issue-14-page-10-600799834 ( Accessed: 28th October 2016).

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Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 5/progression week

Week 4: skills (Greg)

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Our main task this week came with a brief which required us to produce a script, storyboard and short film in groups with the theme of loneliness. However, we were instructed to use ‘show, don’t tell’ within our films and also with no dialogue or speech in the film.

First of all, we looked at the form of script writing we would use to script out our film called screenplay. This is basically a script that we will use for filming our film on loneliness. It contains details of the scene and setting, a description of any events in that location, character details and actions and the dialogue. Everything in a screenplay has its specific position in the piece and always follows an order and specific elements are all in capitals such as character’s names and scene headings.

Using this example of screenplay and how to produce the order of everything required in it, we went into our groups to produce our screenplay for the theme of loneliness. We came up with the idea of presenting loneliness in the form of a relationship break-up. With this area of loneliness I found it could be shown but not told in numerous ways regarding the reaction and effects of it from the people involved. In this case, the idea came up of Scott (who’s girlfriend has broken up with him) showing his loneliness with a wall being covered with written rhetorical questions such as ‘did she even like me? why am I so useless?’ This kind of response will immediately show the audience what form on loneliness this is.

Show an example of these skills being used professionally- (Unit 9 1.1/1.2)

This in the example of a screenplay we were given to learn how everything on it is set out and as a small guide on how to lay our own out.

picture1

(Moreno, Mario O. Tuxford, K, 2016)

 

Demonstrate my own example of the skills being used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Using this example, I was to come up with which showed a moment of my Thursday morning:

INT. BATHROOM – DAY

No more than around 2-3m², the bath takes up more than half the area and the open window allows the faint scent of bonfire in. GRACE stares at her reflection in he mirror in despair.

Using this knowledge on how to produce a screenplay and also with another professional example of how to produce our screenplay for the 2-3 minute length required, our group started to produce ideas for how to show our film of loneliness. It was decided to be based around a relationship break-up which the girlfriend confirms leaving her boyfriend devastated. Here is our group’s screenplay along with the example we used:

screenplay-week-4-greg

 

FADE IN:

EXT. WALKWAY BY THE DANE JOHN – DAY

On the walkway of Dane John Gardens sat at a bench, a girl walks away from her relationship with her boyfriend purposefully. This leaves the boyfriend devastated.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SMALL ROOM – DAY (FLASH CUT)

The boyfriend is sat on a chair at a table in a small white room.

SCOTT (the boyfriend) is introverted. He is upset and confused.

SCOTT

(Gets out a notebook and puts it on the table. He begins to write rhetorical questions, tears them out of the book aggressively and puts them on the wall.)

His head is down, mid-shot of him writing. This cuts to a close-up of the pen on the paper. This continues with a series of shots with the room slowly getting smaller as thoughts are put on the wall.

Cut to exterior. A text message comes up on his phone from friend. He smiles and puts his phone away, wipes face with relief. Puts phone in pocket, gets up and walks away from camera.

Cuts back to interior. Scott takes the thoughts off the wall in another series of shots. He then takes the last thought down reading ‘Does anyone even care about me?’ and writes something at the bottom and re-pins to the wall. The shot lingers on the page revealing that it says ‘Yes’. Fades to black.

 

https://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptwriting/

 

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(Moreno, Mario O. Tuxford, K, 2016)

 

Description of the skills being learned and used- Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

After putting the screenplay together a storyboard was then developed to gain a more of an idea of how we wanted the film to look at the end and how we wanted each shot to look. Each box also contained a small description of what was going to occur in that scene and using the screenplay we developed, here is our storyboard which was drawn by Hannah:

14689089_1298163536863141_35243689_o

Once all the screenplay development and storyboards were completed we went out to shoot the scenes we needed for our film. Since Holly and Scott were featuring in this film I operated the film camera and recorded each scene. Whilst we were filming we all really took into account how we could show and not tell the audience about loneliness even more than we planned. For instance, when we filmed Holly walking away we didn’t want any other pedestrians walking past to show how alone Scott really was then. And not only did the shots we took show the extent of loneliness but also how the film was edited together; the slow motion of Holly walking past, the flashbacks, the constant thoughts on the whiteboard and even the music really made the theme stand out to the audience.

 

 

Evaluation of my use of the skills with reference to professional example-(Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

Overall, I feel that, considering I was absent for one of the sessions where most of the skills were learned, that I have still achieved the aims of this task and I have still contributed to the team to produce this short film. Despite being off sick I have managed to learn myself how a screenplay is laid out and the order of everything in it, practice the exercise on it and also gather up ideas on how the theme of loneliness could be portrayed in a short film whether it’s a break-up or another area of focus. Because of this and despite having to catch up on my teams current plans,  I already had knowledge of how  screenplay worked and I was able to understand from my team’s plans was going to happen in the film having taught myself the basics of it all. However, I was able to carry on as normal once it came to shooting the film since I was responsible for operating the camera and filming the shots.

In relation to using these skills to portray the theme of loneliness, it gave me multiple ideas on how I could use my interest for photography as the prefect way to show and not tell someone about a theme or narrative. Whilst I was filming with Holly and Scott, I gathered inspiration from some of the positions  we filmed Scott in, including Scott’s positions himself. Still images such as this could easily indicate to the audience of the theme any aspect of loneliness even if it isn’t exactly related to a relationship break-up. Even specific camera tools such as the focus lens or certain angles could give effect on an image showing loneliness as it could pin-point the audiences eyes on what you want them to observe and get from it.

This has made me realise that for my unit 9 project even though I will be having a set theme I can explore multiple areas of it through my desired photo-journal format. A have decided on my theme which will be obsession since this format will allow me to explore the multiple areas this can cover perfectly. I will start my research over the half-term holiday over what could be included but ideas on obsession with health, appearance, social media and money obsessions too.

Bibliography:

Moreno, M. and Tuxford, K. (2016). How to Write a Screenplay: Script Writing Example & Screenwriting Tips | WritersStore.com. [online] Writersstore.com. Available at: https://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptwriting/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Moreno, M. and Tuxford, K. (2016). How to Write a Screenplay: Script Writing Example & Screenwriting Tips | WritersStore.com. [online] Writersstore.com. Available at: https://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptwriting/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Week 4: skills (Greg)

Week 3: Skills (Greg)

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

This week we have focused on a number of writing skills such as writing from a different perspective and genre which we put into practice. First of all, we looked back again on genre where we looked at an extract on the sea and shared our thoughts and opinions on it after.

Example of these skills being used professionally- (Unit 9 1.1/1.2)

The extract we looked at was ‘The Looking Glass’ by Michele Roberts and after reading it as a class we all agreed that it was describing the sea in a very peaceful manner with gently emotive language and metaphors, ‘I miss the dancing light, and the energetic wind blowing mist and spray, tiny beads of moisture.’ (Roberts, M, 2001). Using this extract as inspiration, we were then assigned to produce our own water-based setting piece of writing of our choice. I decided to write about a river because it can form so many perspectives from others.

office-lens-20161020-111622

(Roberts, M, 2001)

Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skill- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Here is my water-based piece:

When it comes to any river in any town or city, you can never focus on any one area of it; the mirror accurate reflection of the boats on the water with the flare of the early morning sun to compliment it on those days when it’s just me, the ducks and the hush of breeze through my hair. That sound of grass on the river bank to follow behind too is always an asset to this landscape.

Evaluation of my use of the skills with reference to the professional example:- (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

Looking back, I feel that this exercise gave me a good idea on how genre and theme can open door to so many other areas within that theme. Even though this one linked to other water-based locations, it has prompted me to start coming up with ideas for themes for this project and what specific areas I could investigate in that in my chosen format. Regarding my use of the skill, I had some mixed feeling for my piece. I feel that my perspective of it added more  of a personal touch to it and involved some senses to it- sight, touch and hearing. However, I feel that I could have used the ‘The looking Glass’ (Roberts, M, 2001) extract a little bit more as inspiration and applied more of the emotive language to mine. Despite this, I felt that applying the senses made my piece draw the reader in more and encourage them to picture themselves using them in the situation.

 

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

(Unit 9 2.1/2.2)- One element of the week I especially enjoyed was writing the in the perspective of a different person- or object as we did in one exercise. This was where we could choose any object and write about anything in the perspective of it. I decided on a pair of glasses since I wear them myself and understand how important they are to many people yet how underestimated they can be of worth.

Demonstrate my own example of the skills being used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2) 

Here is my perspective piece of a pair of glasses:

I am considered as an item of fashion, dependence and what gives my owner their identity. I am glasses. Despite having a population of look-a-likes, I too have my own unique identity. my lenses are different from all others for which I value. I get the chance to explore the world everyday whilst helping my owner to witness it too. Reliable, unique and valued. That’s what I am. I may not talk or breathe but to my owner I’m more than just glasses. I bring life to their eyes.

Evaluation of my use of the skill with reference to the professional example- (Unit 9 3.1./3,2)

One part of this specific exercise I thoroughly enjoyed was listening to other members of the class tell their perspective pieces. For example, Holly’s was on a pair of shoes on a telephone line and Scott’s particularly stood out me because of his perspective of a pillow. He turned it into a letter to the owner and the humor he added to it made me understand more with how perspective can really change the tone and attitude a reader may have towards the piece. We also learned more about the person the pillow was talking about than the pillow itself which taught me how much more detail we can gather from an article or written piece just from varied perspective.

 

Description of the skills being learned and used-(Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Another exercise we did which used the technique of perspective was writing in the theme of a greetings card. We wrote in the perspective of someone choosing a greetings card for a person and then the same again but for the person receiving the card. Unlike the exercise with the object, this gave me more of a chance to explore various situations and more deeper emotions of each person. In this case I decided to do a wedding greetings card but the person being and the person receiving the card hate each other so this was a great opportunity for me to add some humour.

Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skills- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Here are my perspective pieces:

Nothing is, or does it seem more frustrating than having a family member who is impossible to buy for. Especially on their wedding day. Nothing you choose is ever good enough when it comes to the bride-to-be. As much as I hate her I will be hated myself if I don’t show at least some form of affection for the ‘best day of their lives’. Whether it’s that gritted smile or lifeless handshakes throughout, a greetings card is no choice. Looking round at all the cards available it’s fair to say that glitter, flowers and lovey dovey messages are the last thing she deserves. After almost being blinded by irrelevant glitter I had to get out of there. I simply grabbed the dullest one I could find (at least it matches her personality) along with one of those pens with invisible ink. After transcribing what mum had written for me to write inside I added my own unique and special touch with the invisible marker. After all, it is their special day(!) maybe on my wedding they can give my 10 minutes of my life back after being wasted on card-buying.

Dear sender,

I am writing to show my thanks for attending our wedding reception. It was a pleasure to see you there and many thanks for the wedding present of the bath soap hamper. Although being told I could ‘use it’ is something I’ve never been told before. Tried to take it as a compliment.

Kind regards,

P.S: I can read invisible ink- you can die in a fire too!

Evaluation of my use of the skills with reference to professional example- (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

One thing I found from this exercise is that it was easier for me to produce the second perspective because I had the first perspective I wrote as a guide for the second. But overall, I found it rather exciting to investigate the same situation but in different perspectives because I was still free to add humour and even my own experience with the difficulty of purchasing the right greetings card. The thing I found about this exercise was that it’s really adaptable depending on the target audience; there are those who like humour and there are those out there who would rather have the perspectives more descriptive or serious. This all links into the importance of understanding a specific target audience as a journalist whatever is being written or reported so that the final piece can meet the demands and requirements of that audience.

Bibliography:

Roberts, M. (2001). The Looking Glass. New York: Henry Holt.

Roberts, M. (2001). The Looking Glass. New York: Henry Holt.

Roberts, M. (2001). The Looking Glass. New York: Henry Holt.

Week 3: Skills (Greg)

Unit 10 children’s book: week 4

My plans to implement a creative media product for a young child- including the schedule I have devised to manage my time:

(Unit 10 2.1)- This week the first thing we looked at were SMART targets which are targets withe purpose of ensuring we know exactly what we are doing and how to ensure it’s produced within a time frame- in my case, the unit deadline. SMART targets are also widely used by university, businesses and other  large companies. Using my devised SMART will also help me to further plan what needs doing with, for instance, a weekly schedule once production has begun.

Specific- To produce a children’s educational storybook aimed at a primary school child.

Measurable- To produce a children’s book aimed at a child ages 5-11 years old by the 7th December  to meet my deadline. I will produce a minimum of five spreads dealing with my book’s topic.

Achievable- Yes it is; I have Photoshop skills to develop the content, I have illustration and photography skills to create the background and characters. I have knowledge of serif and sans-serif font to decide upon the appropriate one.

Relevant yes it is relevant; I have all the skills required for me to develop my product to a professional standard and I have given myself a realistic amount of content to work on until the deadline.

Time- By the 28th of October I will have my storyboard finalized and all my illustrations for this will be ready by the 2nd of November. I will achieve the completion of my children’s storybook by the 7th December in order to meet my set deadline and pass the unit.

Following on from last week’s typography lecture, we also learned some more types of typography and fonts regarding which would be the most suitable for our children’s book or resource. These included upper and lower case fonts and how children learn to read by the shapes of letters.

uandlc (Personal.psu.edu, 2016)

Upper cases (capitals) have no shape so for a children’s book I will avoid the use of this or use a decorative font to enhance the shape of the letters a bit more.

We also took note of ‘kerning’ which means the adjustment of space between unique letters (such as T and Y) and ‘tracking’ which applied to every single letter. Learning about kerning and tracking will become incredibly handy for producing the appropriate spacing of the text in relation to my target audience (a child aged 7 years old).

(Unit 10 2.2)- We also carried out some more skills on Adobe Photoshop for when it comes to the actual production of our storybook or children’s resource- which is what I have decided to produce my book on due to the wide array of tools and photo-editing options I can enhance the aesthetics of my product with. Some of the tools, however, such as the curves and creating layers came to my attention the most as I could not only use them for my storybook creation but they also formed ideas for the story itself. For instance,

photoshop-notes-week-4

Also, since I will be incorporating photography with illustration for my storybook I have started taking photos of ideas for what my book could deal with and/or could even appear in my book. These photos range from skies, the sea horizon, various sea safety signs and establishing shorts of the beach itself.

Bibliography:

Personal.psu.edu. (2016) Poster Session Tips. [online] Available at: http://www.personal.psu.edu/drs18/postershow/ [ accessed: 13 Oct 2016]

 

Unit 10 children’s book: week 4

Unit 10 children’s book: week 3

How I have used my research into my target audience and existing products on the market to inform my own proposed solutions (Unit 10 1.2):

(Unit 10 1.2)- This week, using knowledge of our research carried out we all shared our ideas to the rest of the class for our children’s storybook or resources where afterwards we all gave feedback on that person’s idea on what we liked about it and suggestions for what could make it better. For mine, I received feedback from Carris that the idea of sea safety for those living near the coast was a great idea since she sees a lot of families walking along this environment.

Since this was going to be an educational storybook, Holly and Scott suggested to me that it would be effective to have an interactive piece at the end with a wipe board and pen. I really liked this idea because it would promote real life situations in a child-friendly aesthetic and the idea of flaps within the pages from Holly gave me was something else for me to consider too because it may be a useful learning resource for adults too who may read the book with children. For instance, the flaps could show different hazards on the water and the beach signs. Another idea which really stood out to me by my tutor is how a reoccurring character could feature such as a crab or seagull to possibly tell the story an/or interact with the child reader.

How I applied knowledge gained from typography to my own work in hand.

Next, we looked a major factor that had to be correct for our storybook- font. The two main types we looked at were Serif and Sans-Serif.

serif-sansserif

This decision is of vital importance for us because even though they both look similar they will also determine whether a child reading the book will understand it or if the book will even look appropriate for a child. Sans-Serif is very blocky and will be good for those to understand who are learning to or still struggle to read.

Sans-Serif are also very widely used in many major Brands’ logos and therefore, shows how widely it’s used:

 

(Unit 10 1.2)- After analyzing the font and text of existing children’s books there isn’t really a specific font that is used most commonly depending on the type of book and age range. They all range from plain serif to sans-serif but also make good use of decorative fonts. However, this hasn’t changed my mind on using sans-serif in the storybook to allow the child to understand the content easily.

(Unit 10 2.2)- We also touched up on our use of the software Adobe Photoshop and even learned some new tools which would come in useful for the storybook production whether it’s filling illustrations with colour, altering the background aesthetics or removing/applying features to any of these.

week-3-unit-10-blog-post

Unit 10 children’s book: week 3

Unit 10 children’s book: week 2

How have I analysed the characteristics of my target audience- primary scholl aged children? (Unit 10 1.1):

This week we were taught about a number of elements that we need to consider for our children’s book. (Unit 10 1.1)- Even though we started our research into the target audience and characteristics of them last week it was important for us to thoroughly explore that as a class.

After we were introduced to the project requirements and criteria we got into small groups and were told to produce as many ideas as to what medium our children’s resources could use and what topic ideas we had as an option. (Unit 10 1.1)- Having the research available from last week meant that we made a solid start with putting the ideas on paper and sharing them with the class. I found this part really interesting because ideas for mediums were suggested (comics and jigsaws/puzzles) and I never thought a children’s story/educational resource could be used for them. This gave me a lot to think about regarding how to portray my chosen topic and even how to add variety to it even if I do chose a children’s story book as my medium. For example, adding photography or touch-and-feel elements to it.

office-lens-20160928-150135

What research material have I gathered to show an understanding of the existing learning resources available on the market for primary aged children? (Unit 10 1.1):

(Unit 10 1.1)- After that exercise, we explored some more ideas and inspiration for our project and developed our further understanding of what existing products are out there today which are aimed at children aged 5-11 years. This was where we went online to gather 20-25 images that inspired us on children’s books whether it was the illustrations, characters, how the dialogue was displayed, colours, topic or content. After collecting these images we used them to create a mood board with Adobe InDesign in order to make this part of research more on the creative side. Even though we learned a new way of organising our images, I didn’t feel too overwhelmed with this since I was familiar with using the software from last year. What we did was create equal grids on the page and applied our imaged into each square so that they looked organised yet creative. Some of my images were landscape and didn’t fit in so I readjusted the squares to fit them which made them more organised but created a layered affect which I found unique yet professional.

Here is my mood board:

mood-board

unit-10-moodboard

Another major task this week which I have managed to complete is my research from last week which included analysis of children aged 5-11 years stating their attention spans, what characteristics of a book they enjoy in relation to this and examples of books aimed at that specific age. All of this has given me a whole different perspective of children’s books than I ever had before and has taught me that their age, interests and attention details all influence every aesthetic and content choice made for the book.

As part of my research I emailed some members of my family with a 5-year-old boy to gather some research on what a typical child that age liked to read, watch or play with along what aspects of those mediums keep him engaged and attract his attention. I had a reply from his parent giving answers to the open questions I conducted:

unit-10-interview

unit-10-research

Unit 10 children’s book: week 2

Week 2: skills (Greg)

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

This week, we have been focusing on a number of writing skills in order to prepare us for our upcoming unit. Since this unit would involve us choosing a theme  of our choice, we focused on different genres where we looked at different texts surrounding that genre/theme and did some exercises based around that to understand how to expand on ideas for a theme. The main theme we focused on this week was fear which did interest me since I found it fascinating to know how it can be portrayed in different forms of writing depending on the fear. We did an exercise based on ‘fear’ when we were asked to list 10 thing we feared the most  to see how any one fear could expand into specific elements which we could pose as our theme. I was asked why my fear if train stations at night time was a fear plus how it became this. It was the feelings of being along at night in a place I’ve always associated as dangerous and anything could happen without notice. This lead to an interesting point raised if this could be a subject to do with vulnerability between men and women and whether women are more vulnerable in these situations than men, leading to the theme of gender or society.

Examples of these skills being used professionally- (Unit 9 1.1/1.2)

We also looked at two pieces of writing which portrayed fear in different ways. One was a person talking about fear in the perspective of another person and another was in the first person with conversation between two characters. They both displayed fear in their own ways but much of the class preferred the second one because of the humour and clear paragraphing. I preferred the first one since it was interesting to read about a fear in the perspective of someone else and to also realise that fears can be acknowledged by others- an element I found rather touching and a great pathway for gaining ideas on the different forms of writing I could use to talk about my theme.

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(du Maurier, D, 1938)    (Bennett, A, 1988)

 

Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skills- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Another activity we did this week and one which I found the most helpful in understanding forms of writing was that we researched a non-fictional crime story and tried to re-write it in a format of our choice. After researching with Holly we both found an news report on a teenage girl who as abducted by ISIS and who was ‘ready to die’. Using this same report, we produced completely different pieces of writing each. Holly did a poem and I did a blog post in the perspective of the abducted girl. This actually linked really well with the fear-based activities earlier in the week since they were both showing different ways of portraying fear.

Here is my blog post piece:

‘Teenage girl ‘abducted by ISIS’ texts her uncle to say: Don’t try to find me, I’m ready to die’.  (Mirror, 2016)

“Don’t try to find me, I’m ready to die”. Whether these are my last words or not, I don’t know. Whether or not I see my family again, I don’t know. One thing I do know for sure is that my life will never be the same again…

Having been abducted by ISIS is truly an experience with no in between; you either expect it or you don’t. You either believe it or you don’t. Though I guess terrorists nowadays will resort to anything to gain control- or their definition of control at least.

Where else can I go? Who can help me? Neither of these are options for me. I have no choice anymore but to text my uncle with the news of what I’d happily call my death sentence- something he will either believe or convince himself otherwise. No fancy ‘goodbyes’ or ‘I love you’. All he needs is the truth. If ISIS don’t kill me then homesickness and regret for my family will. Whether he believes it or not the real proof will come to him soon enough. When I don’t.

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Evaluate my use of the skills being used with reference to the professional example- (Unit 9 3.1/2.2)

Overall, this exercise has helped me find my preferred forms of writing since I attempted the poem with Holly but struggled with producing ideas for it. The blog article was much easier for me to use the report information and apply in in the victim’s perspective with the use of quotes to add almost a climax. Since the article had the bare minimum but essential information I was also able to add more of my own content that still related to the report. Because of how I have managed to use an article to form a piece of writing in the first person with added tension, quotes and a clear ending it has given me more ideas on what writing format I enjoy but also that I enjoy writing about non-fiction themes and stories like these which I will definitely consider for this unit.

 

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

This week we also covered specificity and word choices which meant we had to give a description of feelings or people doing an activity without being too vague or boring. We were given the sentence ‘ a man walked into a bar’ where we had to alter it by adding stronger verbs and giving more personality to the sentence making it more interesting to read. (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)- At first I did struggle with this exercise because I found myself overwriting in areas and making it into a short story rather than an expanded sentence. Because of this I decided to delete everything I wrote o far and use the sentence itself to write on and use as ideas for stronger vocabulary. This is what I came up with:

Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skills- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2) 

How often does such a mature, well-educated yet self-centred man walk into a bar with a reputation for blood-stained walls and fights until dawn? It’s not often at all but as the only pub in town that is open until dawn (hence the fights) he didn’t care.

Evaluation of my use of the skill with reference to professional example- (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

At first I found this exercise quite challenging to complete without overwriting or adding irrelevant information to it, especially with actually starting it. However, I felt that turning the sentence into a rhetorical question made the plain sentence more engaging with the reader and a creative way of adapting it. This whole exercise also taught me the importance of specificity as a writer and as a journalist since any information that is too vague or uninteresting will have the reader putting it down or not understanding the full story whether it’s an article or other news piece.

 

References:

Bennett, A (1988) Talking Heads: Alan Bennett’s 54 Classic Monologues. Unknown publication place: BBC Books.

du Maurier, D (1938) Rebecca. Unknown publication place: Victor Gollanoz.

Mirror. (2016). Teen texts uncle ‘Don’t try to find me I’m ready to die’ after ‘ISIS abduction’. [online] Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teenage-girl-texts-uncle-dont-8889467 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Week 2: skills (Greg)