Lego Meets Social Media

As I pondered and brainstormed and paced around the room to think of an idea for my last blog it came to me – well, the pain did anyway!  The pain of stepping on a tiny piece of Lego.  Oh don’t we all know that feeling!  That when I looked into how Lego maintains the popularity for our children of the 21st century.

Lego was developed nearly 80 years ago by Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen and officially launched as the plastic brick in 1958.  Lego is Danish for ‘leg godt’ translating to ‘play well’.  Children are active participants and we are not to look at play as a luxury but a tool that supports brain development.  Lego is an educational tool that supports children’s creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, builds confidence, enhances co-operation and teamwork, encourages problem solving, demonstrates engineering, opens up a new world and develops perseverance.    Senior psychology lecturer, David Whitebread, at ht University of Cambridge supports children’s engagement with Lego as it encourages life skills of problem solving.  It’s easy to build, easy to change your ideas and undo and rebuild.  Children have always been excited to play with Lego but it is now Lego who might need to adjust to keep up to date with children.  I will immerse you into the world of Lego and Social Media.

‘What strikes me as particularly interesting about Lego is that it is non-represational material stat can be made to be representational – although of course that has chagned in recent yeas with more and more pieces being specifically representational, depicting specific characters, tools, features.’ (Fernyhough, as cited in Wrenn, 2012, para. 18).

With the craze of Lego comes a plethora of merchandise – books, clothing, a movie and almost every Lego themed set imaginable.  In addition, Lego has licenses to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and most recently, Minecraft.  Lego tried to dabble unsocial media a few years ago, however they didn’t maintain the sites, now with the recent release of box-office hit The Lego Movie and next year the release of Bionicle2015, it was time to revisit social media and regularly upload and update sites.  The trademark company, Lego, maintain most social media sites, also fans of Lego also keep a constant flow of uploading onto their own social media sites.  We will take a closer look at some of those in this post.

While trawling around YouTube I discovered Lego Channel, each range has it’s own channel, Chima, City, Friends to name a few.

Young people create YouTube channels to review Lego products.

Then there are young people experimenting with their own movie making using Lego and stop motion.

To date Lego has on 9 938 632 likes on Facebook.  Platforms, such as Facebook, provide Lego with a prompt customer complaint and suggestion feedback system.

Lego Facebook

Image retrieved October, 22, 2014 from https://www.facebook.com/LEGO

Since starting on Instagram Lego has 326 posts and 309, 028 followers. Fans are using their own digital devices to creat stop motion movies to uload to the Lego Instagram Video.  The crisp photographs and videos compliment Lego creations.

Lego Instagram

Image retrieved October 22, 2014 from http://instagram.com/p/uado6yNdaG/?modal=true

Lego has an official Vine video channel. Vine has exposed Lego fans to indulge in their obsession further.  At present there are 4 601 follower and 273, 122 loops.  The complexity of their high definition videos and intricate sound effects makes for interesting viewing.

Lego Vine

Image retrieved October 22, 2014 from Vine account.

Lego Vine Profile

Image retrieved October 22, 2014 from https://vine.co/LEGOVine

If you download the Vine app you can hear the clips as well https://vine.co/tags/lego.

Flickr is an open site for uploading photos.  Hosted by Yahoo, it allows users to upload photos.  Many Lego fans have uploaded their photos to share their latest Lego creation.

Lego has met the blogosphere!  Lego City design team maintains a websitte and linked on the website is a blog.  On the blog the designers provide suggestions and anteing to do with Lego City.  It is a very attractive website and user-friendly http://www.lego.com/en-us/city/blog/blogs/.

 

Check out Legos Google Plus community with 184 350 followers.  Again, great merchandising approach by Lego.

Pinterest is a community forum where fans can share, or repine, their favourite pictures, pages and more.  There are plenty of pinterest pages to look through.

Image retrieved October 22, 2014 from http://www.pinterest.com/istyln/lego-ideas/

Image retrieved October 22, 2014 from http://www.pinterest.com/istyln/lego-ideas/

Finally, Lego has its own Twitter account.  Regular tweets are made by Lego staff to keep devoted Lego fans in the loop.  To date Lego has written 7 396 tweets and has 197 000 followers.

Image retrieved October 24, 2014 from https://twitter.com/search?q=lego&src=typd

Image retrieved October 24, 2014 from https://twitter.com/search?q=lego&src=typd

Mike Zeederberg, from digital marketing agency, Zuni says, “it’s a master class of content marketing, customer engagement and monetisation, all build around a really good product” (cited in Ratcliffe, 2014, p. 8).

References

Corey Heller via YouTube. (2013, March 20). Lego animation: space vs land episode 1. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4crd3krSKY

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2014). The 7 skills kids can develop from playing Lego. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/02/the-7-skills-kids-can-develop-from.html

Fins Graphics via YouTube (2014, October 13). 6 new Minecraft Lego sets! (building and review). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XWITYt8g1c

Lego Channel via YouTube (2012, September 30). The Hunt for R2-D2. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34QKT4CDqeE

Outside the Brick. (n.d.). 10 Benefits to playing with Lego. Retrieved from http://outsidethebrick.com/blog/2013/07/10-benefits-to-playing-with-legos-part-1/

Page, E. (2011). How Lego is educational. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from http://www.educationspace360.com/index.php/how-lego-is-educational-3083/

Ratcliffe, C. (2014). Why is Lego’s social media strategy so outstanding? Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/64955-why-is-lego-s-social-media-strategy-so-outstanding#i.t2boydv9je36ta

Rosenberg, J. (n.d.). Lego toy bricks first introduced. Retrieved from http://history1900s.about.com/od/1950s/qt/lego.htm

Wrenn, E. (2012). Why we love Lego – leading psychologist reveals the “builder instrinct” is the key to popularity of the toy. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2178872/Why-love-Lego–leading-psychologist-reveals-builder-instinct-key-popularity-toy.html

I was watching a TV program the other morning where I saw a segment on girls gaming, in particular a study undertaken by Katryna Starks, a PHD student at QUT, promoting more female protagonist in games.

http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/today/videos/3839508037001/

Being a mother of there boys I am indulged int he world of Minecraft so I asked friends on Facebook what video games their daughters like to play.  Seventeen friends responded to my request, having daughters between the ages of five to sixteen years old.  Results varied with a  wide range but surprisingly the two most popular games among the girls were Minecraft and Just Dance, two very different genres.  Another favourite was Mari Kart, while girls also played Wii Play, Sports Resort, arrival Games, Barbie Horses and Transformers.  It appears girls enjoy a variety of games, not solely “girly” games but dapple in some male favourites also.  The only difference I would see is they don’t appear to enjoy any of the fighting or shooting games.

powerpuff-girls-the-battle-him-usa-rev-a

Rewind back to the 1990s, Nintendo targeted games to boys less than 10 years of age, however five years later the market changed to target boys between ten and 15 years of age.  The traditional concept of boys zapping and knights continued to the be the constant theme.  Jenkins and Cassell (1999) reported 92% of games didn’t have female roles, current times have changed.  That figure is now reported 45% of games have strong females character (Gilsdorf, 2013).  Starks is researching why females aren’t the protagonists in the gaming world, while there is strong evidence to support that girls do play games but not all genres are preferred.  The notion that girls prefer to “play video games as a learning tool” is a fallacy.

One researcher found characters continued to be constructed according to a traditional set of gender stereotypes with a traditional view of women with tiny waists, long hair and voluptuous breasts.  Developers eroticise women and are required to fight men, such as Lara Croft Tomb Raider, nonetheless this is not a market for all girls who enjoy gaming.  Gilsdorf (2013) calls this digital sexism but female gamers worldwide are trying to protect the female image and believe it is a perfect time to dispose of the stereotypical “damsel in distress” and create strong female characters and with hope encourage girls to become entrepreneurs.  I am a gamer http://www.iamagamer.ca is a site dedicated to female gamers where success is being founded by building and creating female protagonists.

One of the first women in the computer game industry was co-founder of Sierra On-Line, Robert Williams.  One of the successful creations Williams developed was the King Quest series.  Other female developers created action games Gran Turismo and Mortal Kombat.  Statistics in the United States indicated 50% of females have a bachelor degree, or higher, in computer science, developing games (Gilsdorf, 2013).  Conceivably, now is the time for games to be developed with girls as a target audience.  EA Maxis may be achieving that by developing ‘The Sims’ into a favourite fro both male and female.  Stores are keen for a unisex market to target both genders for a profitable business.

The Sims 3

Let’s take a look at some of the favourite video games last year.  According to Good Game SP the top five games for 2013 were:

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

2. The Last of Us

3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

4. Minecraft

5. Grand Theft Auto V

In Australia the data from the 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 47% of females play video games, which demonstrates enough evidence to maintain the continuation of creating games to cater of girls in the gaming world (Golding, 2013).

References

ABC Good Game. (2014). 12 August 2014 Good Game Top 100 – Final List.   Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/tv/goodgame/stories/s4065784.htm

Cassell, J. & Jenkins, H. (Eds.). (1998). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/cassell-barbie.html

Gilsdorf, E. (2013). In video game culture it’s still ‘no girls allowed’. Retrieved from http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/08/08/sexism-gaming-culture-ethan-gilsdorf

Golding, D. (2013). Who makes games in Australia. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/Daniel-Golding/Who-makes-videogames-Australia-gender-130627/default.htm

Images

Girl Power Gaming. Retrieved October 15, 2014 from http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/today/videos/3839508037001/

King’s Quest image. Retrieved from http://cdn.gamerant.com/wp-content/uploads/Kings-Quest-Reboot-From-TellTale-Games.jpg

Power Puff Girls image. Retrieved from http://img1.game-oldies.com/sites/default/files/packshots/nintendo-game-boy-color/powerpuff-girls-the-battle-him-usa-rev-a.png

The Sims image. Retrieved from http://screenshots.en.sftcdn.net/en/scrn/323000/323283/the-sims-3-hd-08-535×535.jpg

Pokémon Pocket Monsters

As I am on playground duty I see many boys sitting in circles with their Pokémon cards. I recall my nephew, who is now nearly 18 years old, engage in the Pokémon craze many years ago and it seems as though Pokémon has come full circle and is back in the latest craze. So what is the hype all about??

Created in Japan, Pokémon has maintained an interest in audience ranging from childhood through to adults and first hit the stores in 1996. Pokémon is not only a computer game but also has 16 movies and a TV series, currently in it’s 15th season. In addition to the movies and TV series comes many other merchandising, trading cards, computer games, toys and more. Over the past few years Pokémon franchise has added to wiki, Facebook page and YouTube channels. What is more is a Pokémon Tournament, now in it’s fourth year.

Game Freak, developers of Pokémon, deliberately rebuild old favourites but add extra graphics and a twist to the original game to encourage older fans to return and enjoy it and to also engage younger players to enjoy the Pokémon mania. This has shown in recent times with the release of Black and White 2. A remake of the original Black and White, sold 1.6 million copies over the first weekend in the UK alone (Schilling, 2012).  Below is a timeline showing the release of all Pokémon games to date.

Pokemon release dates

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokémon_(video_game_series

Going back to my original question, what is Pokémon and how do you play it? When children are playing the trading cards the aim is to battle an opponent until you defeat the opponents active cards, or the deck runs out. The computer game version of Pokémon is to collect and tame the Pokémon characters.

I asked students (age range: 7 years to 12 years old) what the fascination with Pokémon was and the responses are as follows:

D: It’s a fun game.

M: It’s challenging and fun when you are evolving them in the game.

B: I like to catch them and use them for balling other Pokémon.

E: Because they’re cute, like Evie.

J: It’s epic! The game looks amazing.

X: I like listening to the Pokérap which tells you all 718 characters.

It seems young people will be able to enjoy the Pokémon trend for a while longer with the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be released in November this year.

Some breaking news just release on website Pokémon Australia:

A new Pokémon movie has just been announced for a November release, so strap yourselves in as we indulge in more Pikachu and Jiggly Puff!

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.55.32 pm

http://pokemonaustralia.com/pokemon-the-movie-diancie-and-the-coccoon-of-destruction-coming-to-australian-cinemas/ 

References

Alexander, S. (2014). Pokémon: the nostalgia factor. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11162921/Pokemon-the-nostalgia-factor.html

Mega Essays. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/63882.html

Pokémon Australia. (2014). Retrieved 22nd October, 2014 from http://pokemonaustralia.com/pokemon-the-movie-diancie-and-the-coccoon-of-destruction-coming-to-australian-cinemas/

Schilling, C. (2014). The universal language of Pokémon. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/9597860/The-universal-language-of-Pokemon.html

YouTube retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRM0-FT0tUA

When I began this post I was going to simply talk about Loom Bands, however as I delved deep into the bracelet phenomenon the bracelets over the last few generations were popping up on the internet so I decided to discuss the “fads” from the 1970s to now and what they really mean for children and teenagers.

Friendships in childhood are essential for mental health and wellbeing. Children develop their identity while enhancing social and emotional skills and more importantly identify their place within our world.  Strong friendships develop around 8-9 years of age when children have an idea about behaivours and acceptances and they have developed a sense of security. At 10 years of age, particularly girls, develop best friends and they can become emotionally attached. They have sleep overs and share their deepest secretes. Boys at this stage are still active with their “mates” and don’t develop as strong a friendship and have little interest of the opposite sex. With the developing friendships children share “gifts” which is often current fads, such as friendship bracelet, beads and pins to name a few.

Friendship bands and bracelets have been popular for many years. I remember in the 1980s making friendship pins for my friends. The process of making a friendship pin was to simply use a safety pin and thread colour beads onto the pin. Once you have collected several pins you would either hang them off a larger safety pin or pin them on your shoes. After trawling the Internet I haven’t been able to locate the origin of this fad but I did find an article that reminded me that the colour of each bead resembled a trait about the person.

White = gentle                     red = strong                orange = calm

yellow = good friend           green = envious           blue = happy           black = sad.

Another craze of the 1980s that I was unable to find how or when they began involved taking an O-ring off the lid of a drum and wearing them on your wrist. In Queensland they were known as a racist name and through extensive research other states of Australia had a different name for them, nunga bands. Again, this is a racist reflection as Nunga is the name of Aboriginal people from southern South Australia. The O-rings were worn on the person’s arm. Often children and teenagers collected them and gave some to their friends.  With the teenagers these bands had a theory of some type of sexual orientation. All I can remember is our mother’s would tell us to stay away from the boys who wore them!!

Friendship Pins

Friendship bracelets took hold in the late 1970s and have continued to current times. It is known these were based on the traditions of Indians who in Central and South America gave a bracelet to a friend. Once the band was attached to the friend’s arm the recipient had to make a wish and was worn until it fell off by itself and at that moment a wish was supposed to come true. In the 1970s friendship bracelets were brought into the United States by religious groups for use in political rallies and was used as a symbol during political protests about the disappearance of Mayan Indians and peasants in Guatemala. There has been some evidence to find these bracelets were used in China from 481 to 221BC.

Since the 1970s children and teenagers have used embroidery thread to tie knots to form the bracelet. The colours of the thread resemble various meanings.

Pink = kind                        red = happy           orange = energetic          yellow = cheerful

green = responsible           blue = loyal            black = strong.

After friendship bracelets came the slap bands. The steel bands, made of the same type of material as retractable tape measures, were covered in material. Invented by teacher Stuart Anders they were the fad on the late 1980s and early 1990s. Children would slap the bands on friends arms and ankles, however the dangers of these bands unraveling from the material causing cuts on the recipients body saw them banned.

 Friendship Bracelets

http://cdn3.notonthehighstreet.com/system/product_images/images/000/532/669/original_Make_Your_Own_Friendship_Bracelets4.jpg?1335194793

The recent fad that has circulated playgrounds around the world is loom bands, targeted at ages 8-14 years old. A former Nissan employee, Cheong Choon Ng created the idea in 2011. The idea was born after watching his daughters wrap elastic bands around their fingers, after he tried and failed, as his fingers were too big, he made a loom. The loom was based on 15th century clothing technology. Global Toy Expert, Richard Jottlieb, believes loom bands are the social network of the playground, similar to updating a status on Facebook.

 IMG_2116

From own photo library.

The next craze to take over our shores is the Silly Bandz. This idea has even sparked a silly bandz rap on YouTube (see below).   Originally invented in 2002 by Japanese design team of Passkey Design, Yumiko Ohashi and Masonar Haneda, American, Robert Croak saw an online market for them in 2008. They are colourful, elasticised silicon wristbands that come in different shapes and sizes but when taken off the wrist they revert back to the original shape. The difference with silly bandz is children buy these already established and have no creative flair on them.

Researchers have discussed the crazes of the bracelet world. Indian researcher Tuli (2014) has suggested children are losing interest in the bracelet craze tending to update their status on Facebook or updating WhatApp messages in lieu of trading bracelets. Some psychologists have discussed the loom band craze and believe they provide tools that can help build social skills, form friendships and learn important life lessons. These could include the process of swapping, which helps children understand about trade and barter and how to trade without fighting or losing friends.   Some teachers and parents use the current bracelet trend as a reward system replacing the iconic marbles and Pokémon cards. Child psychologist, Kenneth H Kessler, has continued to support the trends of swapping bracelets as he deems they are good for struggling with peer relationships, they form social connections. The item itself helps build or even start friendships.

I’m sure the silly bandz and loom bands will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future and I wonder what the next trend will be and what material the next inventor will find to create the bracelet with.

References

Denning, A. Friendship pins in the 1980s. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.liketotally80s.com/2007/11/friendship-pins/

Friendship bracelets. (2006). Retrieved from http://friendship-bracelets.net

Keith, K. L. (2014). Child Development: The Ten Year Old. http://childparenting.about.com/od/yourtenyearold/a/tenyearoldplay_2.htm

http://www.braceletbook.com/history_of_friendship_bracelets.html

Lissau, R. (2010).Does the latest bracelet craze help or hinder? Daily Herald Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/755052758?accountid=13380

Parkinson, J. (2014). A craze for loom bands. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27974401

Tefler, T. (2014). Whatever happened to slap bracelets? The dark history of a banned, dirty, and high-tech accessory. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.bustle.com/articles/30305-whatever-happened-to-slap-bracelets-the-dark-history-of-a-banned-dirty-and-high-tech-accessory

Tuli, A. (2014, Aug 02). Friendship bands: Once cool, now tacky man-woman]. The Times of India (Online) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1550355104?accountid=13380

Kids Matter. (2012). Helping children learn positive friendship skills. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/about-friendship/making-friends/helping-children-learning-positive-friendship-skills

Wikipedia. (2014). Silly Bandz. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silly_Bandz

Wikipedia. (2014).   Friendship Bracelets. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_bracelet

As I have struggled to get my head around using a blog, this blog, my next challenge was to create another microblog – I chose to use Tumblr.  I have dappled, I use that word lightly, with Pinterest in a different subject so I wanted to challenge myself yet again.  This took me longer than I expected as I was sure there were other “things” to do on my Tumblr account but I think that was a lack of confidence.  Once I began to get into the swing of using it I was able to take off.

Tumblr page

My tumblr page can be found at http://jacmac3.tumblr.com

What I have discovered from creating my Tumblr blog includes Lego is still popular after so many years, although it is changing as the years progress.  Similarly, Batman, Star Wars and Pokemon are also still very popular.   I also discovered young people must have a really weird sense of humour as I looked into the YouTube channels they enjoy watching.   I’m not sure if I understand what they find funny, so I’ve come to the conclusion we are world’s apart when it comes to humour.

The Dragon Booster Story

Once upon a time there was a dragon.  I mean, a long, long time ago there was a million dragons that liked to race.  One dragon had to save the day.  That dragon’s name was Dragon Booster.  He raced the other dragons.  He was so fast that the other dragons couldn’t catch him.  So he had to save the day from the evil dragon because it had a big ol’ bone around it that had power.  He didn’t even know that it was a dragon because it had a big ol’ bone around it that had power and then there was an evil dragon owner and he, dragon Booster’s dad had come to save him.  He fought the old dragon.  The evil dragon knocked his father off his dragon so Beau jumped on the owner.  The owner said, “Dreggy, Dreggy dragon.”  Ad then the dragon said, “Dang.”  And the dragon came and stepped on his bony neck and the owner picked his owner up and then he said, “Release the dragon.  Release the dragon.   Release the dragon.”  He got so mad that the evil dragon blew up, I mean flew away and hit a rock. (excerpt of Shawn’s story). 

Dragon Booster

The Magic Whale

Once upon a time, there was a magic whale that like was a king of the ocean.  And he had an owner but they had an evil whale enemy.  So, so um, so the good whale fought the evil whale.   They used their magic powers to fight each other.  The good whale was winning but the evil whale was stronger.  That is the end.

The two stories above were told orally by Shawn, a year one student to researchers, Urback and Eckhoff.  They intensively observed a group of students over four months to determine the validity of utilising popular culture in writing development, particularly oral literacy.

Oral storytelling has been around for hundreds of years and this is evident through the vast Aboriginal Dreamtime stories that are available.  Each culture shares a variety of stories, England has oral historians to continue oral stories as they believe it is a social orientation.  Oral language is a vital tool to ensure the right trajectory is paved for early and middle reading and writing development.  It is association with vocabulary, boosting grammar, morphology and pragmatics.  There is plentiful research on the correlation between oral language and reading development but the results of oral literacy and writing, or creating stories, is sporadic but there is some evidence that writing is enhanced by boosting children’s oral language.

Furthermore, children are greatly engrossed in popular culture, whether it be a television show, movies, music, sports, devices, trading cards or video games, just to name a few.  Children utilise their popular culture knowledge to engage in school work.  However, as many teachers, including Shawn’s, believe there is no validity behind using popular culture and there is no reliance in the classroom.  In the above example Shawn’s teacher reported to the researchers she believed Shawn relied too heavily on his favourite games, television shows, movie characters and sport stars to construct stories and as a result it was impeding on his imagination.  Urback and Eckhoff asked Shawn to tell a story, any he wanted, which resulted in The Dragon Booster Story.  They then asked Shawn to tell a story that didn’t rely on any of his “favourites”, as you can see above is the story The Magic Whale.  Clearly from the examples it demonstrates popular culture is a success in oral storytelling to enhance children’s literacy development.

Oral storytelling using popular culture encourages expressive phonology.  Examples may include something similar to the sound effects of a superhero – Pow! and Bam!  The sound of a ball – boing, boing, boing or an emotion – yuuuuummmmm.  Adding these comedic elements bring emotions into a story.

To further illustrate I decided to try the research out myself and asked a student, 9 years 10 months, in Year 4 and we will call him Zac.  Zac has an interest in magic and is engaged for long periods of time watching magicians Cosentino and Criss Angel on YouTube.  He has some magic sets at home, and reports from his mother indicate that he practices until he considers he has mastered the tricks.  Zac’s teacher informs that he is reluctant to construct stories and takes some time to come up with ideas.  However, once he is connected with the activity Zac applies himself to his work.

The Magical Story

One morning I decided to go outside and, wow, I saw my favourite star.  He was a magician called Cosentino outside.   And the best thing was it was my birthday and he moved house next  door and he gave me his new magic kit and taught me all of his tricks.  I couldn’t believe what was happening!!  When I was older I moved out of my parents house and headed to the Land of Oz and Cosentino moved next door to me again.  He asked me to help him with his magic show so we went into a partnership.  Cosentino and I wanted to be better than Oscar Diggs, who was doing his magic show with his wife Theodora and using the Munchkins as his assistants.  But that was not it, Criss Angel was next to my house on the other side.  Cosentino, Criss Angel  and I had a meeting and we decided the best thing to do was all join together to make one big magic show.  Bazinga.. that was it!! We became the best magicians in the world.  The End.

Cosentino

Reviewing the details of the story it appears Zac has been exposed to magicians, Cosentino and Criss Angel, The Big Bang Theory with the word Bazinga and Oz the Great and Powerful using Oscar Diggs, Theodora and the Munchkins as characters in the story.  Next is a story Zac told orally without using any of his “favourites”.

The Dream

Once upon a time and I thought I was dreaming but I wasn’t dreaming.  I was in a different world.  The world seemed the same but it was actually different.  The giant animals would become small and the small animals would become giant animals.  That’s a problem I hadn’t thought about.  The End.

As demonstrated by Zac it becomes clear that popular culture does enhance oral storytelling skills which eventually will also help with written storytelling.  With an increased vocabulary students will benefit with a whole literacy development – reading, writing and speaking.  

References

Crawford-Brooke, E. (2011). The critical role of oral language in reading for the title I students and English language learners. Retrieved 28th September, 2014, from https://lexialearning.com/lexiaresearch/whitepapers/oral-language-whitepaper

Urbach, J. & Eckhoff, A. (2012). Release the Dragon: the role of popular culture in children’s stories. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 13(1), 27-37. Retrieved 28th September, 2014 from http://www.wwwords.co.uk.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/rss/abstract.asp?j=ciec&aid=4973&doi=1

Wolf, E. (2002). Learning language and literacy. Retrieved 29th September, 2014 from http://www.naecy.org/yc/files/yc/file/200203/Isbell_article_March_2002.pdf

Images

Dragon Booster

Cosentino

Generation Z… Whooska!!

What defines funny differs between culture, religions and past experiences but I am sure what I found funny when I was 7 is different to what 7 year olds of today find amusing (Cunningham, 2004).  I am a child of the 80s… If I was asked these questions my response would’ve resembled the following: Yes I love reading.  My favourite book is Anne of Green Gables and no I haven’t read a comic book.  My favourite magazine was looking through my sister’s copy of Smash Hits, my favourite TV shows were Full House, Neighbours, Smurfs and I enjoyed waking up to Boris’ Breakfast Club each weekday morning, The Channel Niners on a Saturday morning and Wombat each afternoon.  My favourite band was New Kids on the  Block and my favourite song was Material Girl by Madonna.  Social media was passing notes to my friends in class and our school only got its first computer when I was in Year 12, using DOS, and I enjoyed playing  a game called Cyclone on the 5” floppy disk.

This isn’t about me though, it is about a 7 year old boy who is the youngest of four siblings.  He has three older sisters (9 year old, 13 year old and 16 year old) who are all heavily involved in social media and going to the movies.  He plays two sports – trampolining and rugby league so he is a child who has diverse interests and always has a smile on his face, thus the main emphasis on this blog, as you will see, is humour.  Humour is difficult to define as it encompasses social, cultural and religious beliefs and also relies on past experiences but through humour comes cognitive and emotional intelligence (Cunningham, 2004).

Q: What type of books do you enjoy reading?

Master 7: Fiction books and books that are happy.  I like The BFG and The Twits because they’re funny.

Q: Do you have or play on an iPod or iPad?

Master 7: My sister’s iPod I play on.

Q: What type of apps do you enjoy playing?

Master 7: Temple Run, Flappy Bird, Cut the Rope, Candy Crush.

Q: Do you play any games on the internet?

Master 7: Yes I play Vex and there’s 1, 2 and 3 and I love Coyote too.

Q: Do you play any games that have to be loaded onto the computer with software?

Master 7: Yes I have Minecraft.  I love Minecraft and my sister said there’s a Minecraft shop so I hope that I get to buy things from there.

Q: Do you watch YouTube?

Master 7: Yep I watch Pewdiepie, Minecraft videos and Miranda Sings.

Q: Do you have any favourite TV shows or movies?

Master 7: I love Adventure Time, The Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Johnny Test, iCarly, Victorious and Spongebob Squarepants.  I love Epic.

Q: Why do you like Epic?

Master 7: Because it’s funny in parts and different to other movies.

Q: Do you have any favourite bands or songs?

Master 7: West Coast and oh what’s that other one, ummmm, oh yeah, High all the Time.

VS

I would like to venture deeper into this discussion to look at the influence older siblings have on Popular Culture amongst younger children to see how much influence Master 7s sister’s would have on his interests.

References

Adkins, B. (1994). Don’t call me “Generation X”, call me a child of the eighties.  Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://inthe80s.com/dynamic/child8e.shtml

Cunningham, J. (2004). Children’s Humor.  Retrieved September 13, 2014, from  http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/4884_ScarlettChapter5.pdf

Hedges, H. (2011). Rethinking Sponge Bob and Ninja Turtles: Popular culture and funds of knowledge for curriculum co-construction. In Australian Journal of Early Childhood 36(1), pp. 25-29.  Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/AJEC1101.pdf

LanaDelRay. (2014, May 7). Lana Del Ray – West Coast [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=west+coast

QueenMadonna. (2013, May 22). Madonna – Material Girl [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNSUOFgj97M

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