short movies for english class

Discussion in 'High School' started by orangepurple, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

    can anyone think of any good short movies or videos to show in English class that would have some point? For example, could we practice diagramming the plot or explaining character's motivations...the kids want to watch movies, I would like to have something sort of fun to do, but not a movie that takes three class periods to get through! Something to finish in one day, for after testing.
     
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  3. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

    When we are doing Romeo & Juliet, I show significant scenes. Often I show them three different versions of the same scene. I have them compare the scenes against Shakespeare's original & against each other & have them decide why a director chose to put this part in & leave that part out.
     
  4. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

    Calliope,
    thanks, I am trying to figure out something like that. For Shakespeare, we haven't started yet, but we have Julius Caesar, which seems much less fun than Romeo and juliet. I noticed that our book room has several Romeo and Juliet versions, plus West Side Story, and nothing for Julius C! Right now we are doing Lord of the Flies, with Julius C coming up, and we just finished epics and legends with King Arthur stories. Any suggestions for that? how about Julius Caesar productions? I don't think I've ever even seen a movie of it myself.
     
  5. really?

    really? Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2008

    Hi,

    I teach 10th grade English, so I thought I would throw in my two cents.

    Last year was my first year. I wasn't looking forward to Julius Caesar at all. Once I got into it, though, I really liked it and now I look forward to it.

    We watch the Charlton Heston movie version, although some will tell you that the Marlon Brando version is far superior. For me, I chose the color version because my students groan in unison when they see anything in black and white.

    We watch the movie first to get the story down, and then we read the play for the language and literary devices. It does make it a little easier to say "remember in the movie when so and so did whatever. . ."

    As far as short movies go, I really haven't tried that. We read Of Mice and Men and watched the most recent movie of that. We read Lord of the Flies, but I didn't want to show either version of the movie to the class. Instead, after the test and paper, we watched the Simpsons episode that is a satire of the novel and discussed similarities. That complete activity did last about one class period.

    We also watched First Knight after reading a few King Arthur legends, but that is also longer than one class period.

    Those are really the only movies I show except for the occassional documentary.
     
  6. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

    Really,
    Is the Simpsons episode something you can get at the video store? I think that would be fun.
    Since we have been doing King Arthur, maybe I should do a few scenes from First Knight. I guess I could just ask them to compare and contrast some things about it.

    The kids are always clamoring for movies. I don't know if it is true, but they'll tell me they are watching movies in EVERY class the day before a break or the afternoon after testing!
     
  7. smarkham01

    smarkham01 Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

  8. really?

    really? Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2008

    You should be able to get it at a video store. The episode is called "Das Bus." It is from season 9 and it is episode 14.

    I haven't seen King Arthur. I wondered if that would be closer to the legends. First Knight doesn't have inapppropriate content, though.

    I still think Charlton Heston is a pretty good Brutus. :) I will have to watch the whole movie and compare. . .
     
  9. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Apr 22, 2008

    Yes, there is a Heston version, a Brando version, & a newer one with Richard Harris.

    I recommend taking key scenes & doing a comparison. In fact (this is a Folgers method), the kids take the last scene of R&J & I tell them they have to cut it in half! This is great for making them really dig in & see what each line means. After they've done that, they watch the three different versions & compare it to what they've done.

    Also, after reading a particularly intense scene (which they don't realize is that intense)I will show it in a version that does that scene particularly well -- like the scene in R&J when Juliet's parents threaten to disown her if she doesn't marry Paris. That scene is very dramatic in the 90's version.

    I can see doing the same with LOTF (we read that earlier in the year). They could, for instance, watch the scene when Simon or when Piggy get killed, & discuss how it compares to what they read. Decide which has the impact that the author intended (which means they have to think about what the author intended).
     
  10. smarkham01

    smarkham01 Companion

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    Apr 22, 2008

    Did I really write Marlon Brando as Brutus?? Help, old age has me in its grips!
     
  11. really?

    really? Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2008

    Oh, dang!

    I didn't notice "Brutus" either. Of course we mean Antony! :blush:

    There's a Richard Harris version? I must check this out. . .

    The key scenes idea is good. Maybe I'll try that with LOTF since I don't want to show either in its entirety. I basically show Julius Caesar to help students visualize the story before we read, but I see how showing some scenes from other versions for comparison would be valuable. Hmm, I will think about this. . .
     
  12. ChangeAgent

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    Apr 29, 2008

    Regarding Shakespeare and scenes . . .

    This year, I introduced the characters (R&J), and we spent a day exploring them, followed by a day of sequencing plot (I had cards out of order by Act and the kids had to guess the order). We did some stage-play, and then watched Act I from Baz Luhrmann's verison. We read act I (abridged), and then finished Act I with Zefferelli's version. It worked very well, as the newer movie grabbed their attention (after they learned the basic plot), we studied the language and details of the plot and the meaning of the words, and then watched it again (and I think the students have a harder time with Zefferelli, but with their previous knowledge, they all paid attention!).
     
  13. MtotheC

    MtotheC Rookie

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    May 6, 2008

    I'm doing J.C. and A Midsummer Night's Dream right now (2 classes, of course). I started J.C. with the movie, comparing the two opening scenes of brando and heston with the book. We had a whole big discussion of the director's decision. Then I had them write their own director's cut, explaining the significance of what went into the scene. We did watch the whole movie, though, over 3 days and are going back over Calpurnia's dream, the 2 burial speeches, and will have a discussion about friendship/love/jealousy. They're all doing pretty well, but it's tough for my ESE kids. We're going to do A.M.N.D. next in that class. I think they'll like the scandal. But...I really love J.C. and enjoy spending a lot of time on the friendship issues that arise.

    As far as King Arthur, I showed them the Disney version: Sword in the Stone. They had to answer a worksheet and do a compare/contrast of the movie version, Steinbeck's version, and Malory's version. It was awesome! They loved it--even though they had to do "creative" research projects. Many told me afterwards that it really helped them once their world history classes got to medieval England because they already had that background knowledge.
     
  14. kmays

    kmays Rookie

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    May 22, 2008

    If you want something you can do in one class period, I recommend The Simpsons. I've been a huge fan since I was little, and now I use it in my classes quite frequently.

    I have found it's pretty effective when I teach plot structure, because the students can clearly see where the turning point is. Also, if I'm having a really off day and need a mental break, I use it like reciprocal teaching where I have them summarize, ask questions, connect to their own lives, and make predictions. I also like to have them write alternative endings, or I just don't show the ending at all and they have to write the script. They really enjoy watching it and it's like tricking them into working. :)

    BTW, there is a GREAT episode that has spoofs of Hamlet, Joan of Arc and the Odyssey. It's in season 13, so I don't think it's available on DVD yet, but if you can catch it on TV, it's worth taping.
     

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