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In an age of mobile technologies, digital animation creation can be an important tool for teaching adolescents how to communicate emotions multimodally. This article draws on appraisal theory and original research to illustrate the power of digital animation for multimodal literacy learning. Students from a culturally diverse cohort were taught how to interpret emotions in animated films and produced 2‐D cartoon animations using drawings with an iPad application and stylus. The findings show that impassioned multimodal communication is enhanced by knowledge of how feelings produce different facial expressions, gestures, body movements, and physiological changes in characters that are often exaggerated to powerful effect in animations. This includes an ability to invoke different intensities of emotions. The research has significant implications for engaging adolescents in the multimodal communication of emotions and feelings through vocabulary, images, and body language.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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