Teaching with movies
Our children live in a media-saturated world. Between television, music, videos, movies and video games, it feels like tech overload. However, there are times when media programs, such as quality movies, can be beneficial.
There are many movies that teach positive values or help the viewer learn about major events in history, science, culture, people and places.
The F.I.L.M. Project (Finding Inspiration in Literature & Movies) is a free movie curricula program for youth promoting literacy around selected movies. The F.I.L.M. Project recommends selecting movies that are based on books, to improve literacy skills. This encourages students to not only watch, but also to read, discuss and dissect both the movie and the book.
Parents can browse through the movie curriculum and discussion guides and choose movies by rating, genre or by reading through the collection of films. The F.I.L.M. Project has free curriculum for many popular movies, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte’s Web, How to Train Your Dragon, Happy Feet, Tangled and more.
Teach with Movies (TWM) is another site that offers free lesson plans based on movies and film. Teach with Movies has categorized movie lesson plans into subjects such as history, science, literature and social/emotional learning and moral growth. All of the movies recommended have strong life lessons and are considered supplements to the students' formal academics.
With Teach with Movies, the advantages of film as an educational resource are not limited to social studies, English language arts and health. Movies give students a different, exciting perspective on music, drama, dance and the visual arts. TWM provides learning guides for all of these subjects.
If you want a simple worksheet approach to facilitate more discussion throughout the movie, you can try MovieSheets.com. Movie Sheets offers a large collection of worksheets that coordinate with movies submitted by teachers from all over the world.
I remember how exciting it was when one of my teachers decided to allow us to watch a movie as part of our lessons in school. It offers students a nice change of pace, something different and more exciting than what students might find in academic textbooks. If you have a visual learner then teaching with movies has obvious benefits. If nothing else, break up the monotony of daily lessons and enjoy a movie and discussion the whole family can learn from and enjoy together.
Do you incorporate movies into your homeschool? How do you make the most out of movies you watch?