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