Learning English with MovieStarPlanet
MovieStarPlanet is a fun and secure place on the web where children can have fun while improving their language skills. MovieStarPlanet challenges children to be creative so that they improve their expressive capabilities. MovieStarPlanet is a social website where children and teenagers work together with their friends to create cartoons. MovieStarPlanet is a blend of Facebook and YouTube with a learning dimension added.
In MovieStarPlanet each child creates a virtual MovieStar character which is used in cartoons together with the characters created by their friends. The children can share and review each other's cartoons. Depending on the popularity of the cartoons, the virtual movie star figure will be awarded with virtual fame and money, giving new possibilities in the next movies.
The ongoing progress of the virtual movie star figure gives MovieStarPlanet a substantial element of play and competition appealing to children.
MovieStarPlanet is developed with financial support from the Danish Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation in cooperation with The Danish University of Education, and a number of elementary school teachers.
In 2009-11 the development of MovieStarPlanet is part of the research and development project about the use of games in education called Serious Games on a Global Market Place
The cartoons in MovieStarPlanet are small and very simple, focusing on using English in new and motivating ways. The cartoon medium is used to practice the written English skills of the children allowing them to:
- read and write screenplays
- watch their own and other children’s Movies so that they practice listening to and understanding/interpreting the English language
For the children, MovieStarPlanet is ideal for:
- participating in ”language games” and role-plays
- using digital media to create simple or more advanced texts
- communicating with children in other grades and schools
- understanding and performing simple or more advance language actions
- using digital media for creative expression
Suggestions for educational courses using MovieStarPlanet
- After a joint review of MovieStarPlanet, the pupils start by creating their MovieStar character and play around for a while
- Create cartoons using specific words, aimed at vocabulary acquisition. The teacher may choose different scenes and themes. If for instance words about “climate change” is a current topic in the education, the cartoons should be about the climate change and global warming:
‘We need to do something about global warming’
‘Definitely, the first thing to look at is reducing CO2 emissions’
- Themes or texts the class has worked with or read could be used as starting points in cartoons; 4 friends are arranging a party, make a ghost story, a love story, sports, girls practicing a dance, classroom talk, etc
It is important that the teacher defines the framework for the cartoons when MovieStarPlanet is used for educational purposes. In this way the quality of the produced cartoons will be better and the pupils will be more motivated to do their best.
MovieStarPlanet makes it easy for everyone to participate. The teacher may agree on the contents and the educational objects in co-operation with the individual pupil.
For older children the following requirements could be implemented:
- each cartoon must have 4-5 scenes
- a storyboard/screenplay must be made before the cartoon is created so that the composition of the history is in focus
- a specific semantic field is used
- the speech is written in a specific grammatical tense
- there must be a certain number of adjectives in the speech
- the speech must be written
- at least three MovieStars in each cartoon
Working with MovieStarPlanet will be a varied and inspiring medium where many different competences will be practiced.
Depending on the number of available PCs, the pupils can work on their own or in groups.
www.moviestarplanet.com is freely available on the internet and can be freely used in education or privately by anyone.
If you have any questions regarding MovieStarPlanet, please write to
The MovieStarPlanet user guide is available here.