Every month our teacher has a goal of sharing with us a story in Mandarin. This time, it was “Cock-a-Doodle-Doo”. Initially, I was required to practice reading and listening to the story while also learning any new vocabulary.

The original story was told entirely via third-person narrative. Shawn then assigned me the task of writing a script and creating a dialogue for the characters. After the script had been reviewed, he gave me the final assignment of creating a ‘play’ whereupon my brother and I could act out the different characters. I was in love with the notion and the project quickly grew into an iStop-Motion video.

I created the background, gathered different toys or printed out clipart for all of the characters, and recorded the audio for each voice-over. Finally, I was ready to start filming. I set up the camera right away and moved each character millimeter by millimeter to add motion to the characters.

It was around this time that we started to run into problems, our memory disk was too full, we were unable to see what we were working on within the editing program (we had to convert each clip),  but we kept at it. For a total of three weeks, my  brother and I worked diligently towards completing this project. Now it is finished, and I could not be happier with the final product.

When I first started learning Mandarin, creating something like this seemed impossible. I thought I would never be able to make a video based on a story, let alone record the entire thing in my second language. I find that when we set our mind to something, we often surprise ourselves and others.