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November 18

Mickey Mouse appeared in his first animated feature.

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Mickey Mouse appeared in his first animated feature.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

On November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse made his movie debut in Steamboat Willie, one of the earliest animated cartoons. This seven-minute film, directed by Walt Disney, was the first to combine animation technology with synchronized sound. From this short film, based on a cartoon drawing, Disney created one of the largest media empires in the world.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Steamboat Willie was one of the earliest animated cartoons, a medium that grew from comic strips and Sunday funnies into a multimillion-dollar business. Invite your students to experiment with cartoon and comic strip drawings by collaborating to create a short, humorous story, with at least one main character that performs an action. When students have completed the short sequence, have them use the Comic Creator to make a flipbook.

Students choose one background and repeat it multiple times as they draw their characters' actions from one frame to the next. When they've completed each sequence of drawings, they print out the pages, cut the frames, and staple them together to create a flipbook. By stapling all the pages together in one corner or along one side, students are able to flip the pages of the book quickly, simulating animation. Allow students to share their flipbooks with their classmates. Teams can also experiment with adding vocals in the background to synchronize with the images.

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Steamboat Willie

    This page features a short clip of the 1928 cartoon that launched Mickey's career.

  • The Walt Disney Family Museum

    This website offers something for students of all ages. Students will enjoy film clips, interviews with Walt Disney, a comprehensive biography of his life, photographs with audio for kids, and special exhibits.

  • Why Teach Animation?

    This site offers extensive information for teachers about animation history, animation techniques, and teaching animation in the classroom.

  • Origins of American Animation

    This Library of Congress site includes 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which were produced from 1900 to 1921. Compare the animation in these early films to that in Steamboat Willie as well as that in current cartoons. Be sure to preview the films for their appropriateness for your students.

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Comic Book Show and Tell

Students craft comic scripts using clear, descriptive, and detailed writing that shows (illustrates) and tells (directs). After peers create an artistic interpretation of the script, students revise their original scripts.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media

Students explore stereotypes in the media and representations of race, class, ethnicity, and gender by analyzing comics over a two-week period and then re-envisioning them with a "comic character makeover."

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure

This lesson uses comic strip frames to define plot and reinforce the structure that underlies a narrative. Students finish by writing their own original narratives.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Gabbing About Garfield: Conversing About Texts With Comic Creator

Students will definitely get animated as they discuss comics’ features and designs, and they’re sure to enjoy the lesson’s punch line assignment: creating a comic strip of their own.