Workshop For Educators

THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN POSTPONED. A new date will be set when the country is out of the Corona virus danger zone.


To register for the first Workshop for Educators offered by Oregon Cartoon Institute in conjunction with the annual Oregon Film History Conference, contact anne at oregonfilmhistoryconference dot org.

2020 workshop description:

“I think one can create wonderful depth and meaning and communication without using words.” Bill Plympton, two time Oscar nominee

What happens when you ask students to put a wordless experience into words?

The “Engaging Reluctant Writers: Film As Text In The 9-16 Classroom” workshop will demonstrate specific strategies for using film as text in the “writing to think and learn” classroom. Students who dislike reading, and who do not feel at home on the printed page, assume a new authority when asked to critically analyze the moving image.

The films we will use as text are: CLOSED MONDAYS (1974), by Will Vinton & Bob Gardiner; YOUR FACE (1987) by Bill Plympton; LEAVE ME ALONE (1989) by Jim Blashfield; MONA LISA DESCENDING A STAIRCASE (1993) by Joan Gratz.

The above list includes two Oscar winning animated shorts, a Cannes Golden Lion winning animated short, and an Oscar nominated animated short by a two time Oscar nominee. All by Oregon artists; all available online. The longest is seven minutes.

“Animation can occupy all these different spaces. It doesn’t need to replicate reality, it doesn’t need to have two point perspective. It can do, really, anything. So it’s an ideal medium to evolve concepts, ideas, story in new ways.” Rose Bond, winner of Princess Grace Award


Participants will learn to:

Use unfamiliar, non-literary texts (in this case short, sometimes non-narrative, animation) as a way to level the playing field for a classroom of writers with varying skill levels.

Overcome resistance to writing by re-framing writing as a form of group dialogue, drawing on and building the group as a whole.

Introduce students to the practice of using peers as readers/responders

Use informal pre-writing, free writing, and ungraded, unsigned writing in the classroom to generate first drafts, and teach revision.

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the sixth annual Oregon Film History Conference, Friday, May 1, 2020, which has the theme of Oregon animation history.

“Engaging The Reluctant Writer” Part One
Saturday April 25, 2020
9:00 AM-4:00 PM

All day workshop demonstrating techniques for using short animated films in the “writing to think and learn” classroom. Drawing on the pedagogy of Peter Elbow, the workshop is designed for educators interested in overcoming learned resistance to writing by reframing it as dialogue. Led by Anne Richardson & Dr. Katherine Bruna

“At the end of the class, they will have gotten the message that the prime activity of the course is for students actively to figure out what they think — not passively listen to lectures or thoughts from others.” Peter Elbow

“Engaging The Reluctant Writer”, Part Two
Friday May 1, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Oregon Film History Conference

All day interdisciplinary conversation among professionals from across the state. Six to ten speakers give talks and lead conversations exploring Oregon animation history through a humanities lens. Workshop participants will meet with Anne Richardson and Dr. Katherine Bruna for lunchtime group discussion.

“Engaging The Reluctant Writer”, Part Three
Saturday May 2, 2020
9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Workshop participants share projects created for final assignment, and discuss the conference experience. Led by Anne Richardson & Dr. Katherine Bruna.


Anne Richardson is the director of Oregon Cartoon Institute, co-founded with Dennis Nyback in 2007. She has taught at CUNY (Kingsborough), PSU, Linfield College, and Northwest Film Center. Her MFA is from Columbia University School of the Arts, Film Division.

Katherine Bruna is a professor of multicultural teacher education at Iowa State University. She supports pre- and in-service teachers in utilizing engaging pedagogies that solicit student ideas, scaffold student thinking, and spark classroom conversation for effective content learning.




Let’s build something together.