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Teaching Tools for Movies

  • July 28, 2020
  • By Donielle
Teaching Tools for Movies

During our safer at home stay we have been watching more movies than usual. We have had a great time getting older flicks from the library. My teens are working their way through the Batman series right now. I usually make them fold laundry while they watch, so it is not a total waste of time. I love incorporating some education if we are going to sit down in front of a movie. Movies as Literature is my favorite resource for guiding us thoughtfully through some older movies.

Becoming critical viewers

Kids are fascinated by the process of making movies, and understanding how films are made helps them become critical viewers. It will start them on the process of discerning which movies have artistic merit. They will learn to appreciate beauty in the art of film. To help develop that ability to think while watching movies, my daughter put together a fun, short film that teaches about basic film angles and how to find them in children’s movies. It premiered for a virtual summer camp. Now you can enjoy it here and on my YouTube channel.

Help your kids think critically about movies!

For cinema to be about more than mindless entertainment we need to think critically about what we are viewing, both the worldview and the art. Neil Postman says in his brilliant book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, that “our media-metaphors classify the world for us, sequence it, frame it, enlarge it, reduce it, color it, argue a case for what the world is like…What is peculiar about such interpositions of media is that their role in directing what we will see or know is so rarely noticed.” (2005, pp. 10 -11) What movies are teaching us, how they are categorizing our world, these are things we should see and contemplate. Don’t let a movie go by without asking at least “What the main points the film was trying to make?”

I hope that Faith’s video will start your kids down the path of thinking about film, rather than just being entertained. If they find this topic fascinating, they will enjoy Film School 4 Teens. Perhaps they will even try their hand at becoming producers instead of just consumers!

By Donielle, July 28, 2020
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