Good Movie to Show Middle Schoolers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, May 29, 2012.

  1. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 30, 2012

    It would be a great lesson in critical thinking to review and analyze the opinions, arguments and data on both sides. A discussion of politics, media bias and manipulation of data could be included as follow up. To present the movie as 'the complete truth' (the title is a misnomer) does your students a disservice.
     
  2. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 30, 2012

    O_O I hope I haven't made it seem like ALL my classes have been misbehaving. My other classes are perfectly fine. In fact, they're amazing. And even in the difficult class there are only one or two who are openly defiant or misbehaving. Actually, I've made progress with many students in that class that other teachers have simply given up on, or constantly tell me horrible things about.

    It's probably one of those cases where you hear about all the negative things in my life because I need help on them, that I forget to share the good things. Actually, I am extremely happy with the progress I've made with that class over the year. There's just that one student who has been a continuous issue. >_< The other student is simply feeding upon that. Otherwise I have pretty much successfully disconnected the wall these students put up for me when I first came in.

    And really, it's all thanks to you guys. =] :hugs:
     
  3. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2012

    I taught a science-fiction unit, and I showed "Gattaca," and a clip from "Artifical Intelligence" I had them identify the theme and identify characteristics of sci-fi in the films. It's pg-13, so it's fine for 7th and 8th grades.
     
  4. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Firstly, I'm gonna t/j a little here to say that I don't see why showing movies are such a huge deal. As in "you show a movie, you must be a bad teacher". Sooooo not true. Especially where our English and French curriculums have strands called Reading and Viewing. Our students are expected to be able to critically view pieces of work, comment on them and voice an opinion. There is so much cross-curricular work you can do by showing movies! Obviously a teacher showing movies instead of teaching is an issue. But I see no problem with a movie being shown to enhance what the students are learning OR when the teacher has taught everything they were expected to teach that year.

    With that being said, my students loved, loved, loved Mythbusters episodes. In Grade 10 Science, we were studying the reactivity of alkali metals, so I showed them the episode where they put sodium in the toilet and potassium in the bathtub. The kids loved it.
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jun 10, 2012

    After we finish our rocks/soil unit I show my kids Journey to the Center of the Earth. (The 1959 one.) Because of the age of kids, the first part, building up to the journey gets several stops and starts as I explain it. Then, once they are in Earth, the kids watch for aspects that #1 make it fiction instead of nonfiction, and the things that couldn't work and why. They love it and really make some great connections back to what we learned about the layers of Earth, rocks, etc. For fun, during testing week we watch the newer version. Less learning there, (a cool little mini lesson on magnetic rocks, though) and they like to compare the two.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Age-wise, PG-13 fits, but be sure to check with your school if showing a PG-13 movie (not saying that you didn't, Milsey). I'm not allowed to show PG-13 movies and must be careful about PG.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Most schools require parental consent and option to opt-out for PG-13 movies. Even where I am, the students are age 16-19, I still have to get authorization from principal and director of probation to show PG 13.

    I decided that for the remainder of my time here (June) weeks I'm showing movies, of course they're all tied to curriculum. I chose PG or not rated so I don't have to get approval (could take too long). In geography we're watching Carbon Nation, which is exactly what we've been covering for the past few weeks. For English, we watched Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson story (identify theme based on character conflicts and resolutions), next week we'll do Radio (elements of a story, plot diagram, etc), and if we have time we'll also do the Helen Keller movie (Miracle Worker)

    In my opinion showing movies is not a bad thing as long as it's done sparingly. I would never show movies like this, back to back, only 1 in every few months, but my last day is June 29th, that's when our grading period ends and technically that's when I have to submit all my grades. This normally takes a week because we have to review all the transcripts to see exactly what to give credit for (do they need English 11 or 12? exactly how many credits? did they satisfy World Geo already, because in that case I can give theme electives in General Studies, etc) I don't feel like doing it after I'm gone from my school (I don't even think I'm supposed to) so I don't want to have a ton of things graded during the last weeks. The students have classwork, movie notes, but that won't take too long to overlook.
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2012

    <<It's pg-13, so it's fine for 7th and 8th grades. >>

    I will never, ever understand this logic. PG-13 means "Parental guidance strongly recommended." We beg parents to be more involved in their students' lives and education and then we go ahead and decide to take their place and show whatever content we feel like.
     
  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2012

    As others pointed out, a PG-13 movie usually requires a permission slip signed by the parent before a student can watch it. In my previous school (middle school), we could only show movies rated PG or G. In another middle school in the same district, only G-rated movies were allowed so the school would not have to send permission slips home.

    My experience is admittedly limited, but I don't know of any middle school that just decides they want to show a PG-13 movie whether the parents like it or not. I can see a case being made for specific movies that fit the content being taught, but even those usually require a permission slip first.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 14, 2012

    Yeah, I think we're required to have permission slips for PG-13 movies as well. As Linguist said, I'd rather just show PG movies rather than deal with the hassle.

    BTW, I ended up showing October Sky, and the kids LOVED it. It's actually very relatable to them despite the fact that it was all white kids in the 50s.

    It was students getting out of a situation that they were born into with the help of their community. Wonderful recommendation, and thank you for it.

    Actually, Milsey, I'm very interested in adding a Science Fiction Unit/Background Unit to the curriculum, mind if I PM with you about it?
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2012

    okay
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 16, 2012

    I just found out that our grades have to be out in by next Friday, but our grading period ends on the 29th. Everyone is confused and not pleased about it - I'm not, this way I can justify the movies even better.

    By the way I showed 'Radio' this week. All the kids loved it, I even cried a little :(. It's PG, so absolutely suitable for all ages - my kids are 16-18 (a lot of them over 18) and still loved it. I used to analyze character conflicts, climax and resolution, as with any movie, it's easy :)
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2012

    I didn't show any movies at all, though the other ES teacher did. My kids were bitter about it. Kids do not sit in my class and play on Facebook or their cell phone. If I had shown a movie, they wouldn't have liked the work that went along with it!

    I had them do a project of their choosing based on their skills and talents--I had one kid do an interpretive dance, and another wrote a short play.

    It was frustrating. We have many kids out for service projects, so not only did testing end, but most of my class was exempt. I was also told by a concerned admin that my project must not impact grades.

    What are we supposed to do for the last 2 weeks? Seniors are seriously lacking motivation anyway by that point, and if we have no "stick" to make them do it, many will refuse. Several of my students just quit coming to class in order to avoid the project. I had to harangue a few others to get them to buy into it, which they finally did.

    The there are the parents. The same parents who are livid that their kids watch movies all day in school are also on the phone to the principal if any grade changes by a tenth of a percent after testing.

    I would actually show movies if I didn't think that the permissions and justifications were more trouble than they are worth. There are a lot of popular movies that perpetuate horrible misconceptions about Earth Science, so showing them in a controlled, guided environment is a great way of helping the kids learn to critically analyze things.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 18, 2012

    An earth science project sounds fun though. I think going out and collecting and analyzing geological samples would be really fun (but then again I am a science geek).

    It seems like you teach High School. I'm sure they'll let you show certain rated movies without permissions and things (like PG or PG-13).

    Linguist: Radio is a great movie! My sister and I watched it at least a dozen times.
     

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