Film Class?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by peachacid, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Has anyone started a film class at their school? I have a class of extremely reluctant eighth graders twice a week. I can do whatever I want with them, as long as it's educational. They would prefer to sit and talk, and they resist ANY reading at all. I figured movies would be the best way to capture their interest. Of course, I will not be showing the kinds of movies I am sure they'd prefer to watch.

    My plan was to start with Citizen Kane, since it's the "best" movie in the world, according to the American Film Institute. We're going to watch it in three parts. Each day I'll give them a sheet with some questions on it (what is going on in the film, what is confusing about it, what makes it good, what makes it bad). Then, when we're finished, we'll have a general discussion about the film. They'll talk about what they think makes a film good.

    Any tips on good resources for film classes for eighth graders? Do you think I need permission to show films that are rated PG? They are all 13 or 14. Ummm any tips on how to help them analyze the films? I'm kind of just jumping into this...though I have till Tuesday to plan. =)
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Mar 9, 2012

    I teach film studies for high school students (mostly juniors and seniors) so my goals are a bit different. If you're going to expect them to do much analysis, you'll need to give them the background vocabulary to be able to discuss them. They'll need to know the difference in a close up and a long shot, and a high angle shot and a low angle shot. They may also benefit from knowing some history of film, but really the vocabulary is more important. Once they are all speaking the same language about movies, the conversations will be much more efficient and meaningful.

    Try to chose movies that will keep their interest. My younger students had almost no interest in Citizen Kane and without the background knowledge would not have understood it at all.
     
  4. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Mar 9, 2012

    A few of us had classes like that, but our principal chose to eliminate most electives in favor of more concentrated English and Math classes to prepare for state testing.

    And, of course, eliminating classes that make education MORE fun and interesting for the students is the absolutely correct educational philosophy to have!



    :banghead:
     
  5. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Mar 9, 2012

    I found an interesting-looking curriculum at storyofmovies.com -- they have it set up to analyze To Kill a Mockingbird, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I asked my principal if I could do it, and am awaiting her response. After reviewing my own thoughts on Citizen Kane I realized that I think it's super boring...and I have a great attention span. I might use a clip of it for an intro to the whole concept, though. I think it's important that they see what the "greatest" film ever is like.
     
  6. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Mar 9, 2012

    We had one in the English department back in the seventies. (I've seen the musty old files.)

    Surprisingly, it was dropped due to lack of interest, on the part of students, in the eighties: maybe a matter of building a more "serious-looking" transcript. That's how they think around here.

    I think it would be worth revisiting, maybe as a higher level course than it was last time around.
     

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