Ways to Effectively Use Movies in Class
Including movies in your lessons can help enhance learning and increase student interest levels while providing direct instruction on the topic at hand. While there are pros and cons to including movies in lesson plans, there are ways that you can help ensure that the movies you choose do in fact have the learning impact you desire. The following list gives ideas for how you can effectively use films to reinforce what is being taught. 1. Create a generic worksheet for students to fill out after watching the movie With this option, you would create a worksheet that you could use for all the movies you plan to show over the course of the year. Questions that might be included are: * What is the setting of the movie?
* What is the basic plot?
* Who is (are) the protagonist(s)?
* Who is the antagonist?
* Give a brief summary of the movie?
* What are your impressions of the movie?
* How does the movie relate to what we are studying in class? 2. Create a movie question worksheet to be filled out during the movie Here you would create a specific worksheet with questions about events that happen throughout the movie. Students would need to answer the questions as they watch the movie. While this would have the benefit of ensuring that students understood specific points from the movie, it can also lead to problems with students so busy watching the movie that they forget to read and answer the questions. When I have used this method, I have a tendency to stop the movie after each question or two and have the students answer them before moving on. Here is an example for All Quiet on the Western Front. As you watch the movie, please answer the following questions. 1. What is the title of this film? When was it made? Who wrote the original novel? 2. Why did the students join the Army?
3. What role did the mailman (Himmelstoess) have? Was he particularly mean to these recruits? Give an example. 4. How were conditions at the Western Front different from their expectations in training camp? 5. What was the impact of the shelling on the new recruits? 6. What happened after the bombardment?
7. In the attack, what did the machine gun do to the glory of war and individual heroism? 8. How many of the company died in this first battle? How do you know? Why were they able to eat so well finally? 9. Who did they blame for this war? Who did they omit in their list of potential villains? 10. What happened to Kemmerich's boots? How did the doctors' react to Kemmerich's plight? 11. How was Sgt. Himmelstoess received when he arrived at the front? 12. What was the pattern of a battle? What preceded the attack? What followed it? 13. What happened to Paul Baumer when he found himself in a shellhole in No Man's Land with the French soldier? 14. Why did the French girls - ostensibly the enemy - accept the German soldiers? 15. After four years of war, how has the German homefront been affected? Were there still the parades, crowded streets, and joyous sounds of going off to war? 16. What were the attitudes of the men in the beer hall? Were they willing to listen to what Paul had to say? 17. How does Paul Baumer confront his former teacher? How do the young students react to his vision of the war? 18. How has the company changed during Paul's absence?
19. What is ironic about Kat's and Paul's deaths? [Note: The war ended on November 11, 1918.] 20. Describe the attitude of this movie towards World War I and all wars.
3. Pose questions on the board that you answer as a class during the movie With this lesson plan idea, you would be stopping the movie after each question you've posted on the board and answering it as a class. 4. Give students a list of items to look out for during the movie For this idea to work, you would need to spend some upfront time discussing the movie with the students....