Do you remember the joy that you felt as a student when you saw the teacher roll the TV into the classroom? Your students can experience the same joy when you show a film in your own classroom – and it won’t be because it’s a perceived distraction. In her recent Guardian.com blog post, Sarah Marsh outlines 12 ways to use film creatively in the classroom. Building on concepts from that piece, we’ll focus on three key themes here: film immersion, cultural immersion, and student activity.
There are a plethora of ways to immerse students into a film. Let’s say that you show a full-length film in class. Students can research the director or actors’ body of work, seeking commonalities and inspiration, which allows students to discover what inspires them. They can use podcast and radio reviews of a movie to determine how reviewers describe the visual aspects of a film using nothing but audio, and they can even create their own podcast reviews of the film.
Speaking of audio, students can learn to create their own sound effects for the film. Play them a segment of the film’s score or soundtrack so they can ascertain the corresponding mood. Break down all elements of the film, from cinematography and computer graphics to costuming and setting, and ask students to analyze these tools and decide how they can enhance the meaning of the film and its overall experience.