Film in the Classroom Are they sleeping or learning ?
Is this what happens when you turn off the lights and press “play”? VERYBAD
Wouldn’t you rather have this: VERY GOOD
“ We know that for many of our students, film is much more readily accessible than print because of its visual nature and immediacy of the medium, but the very things that films do for us, good and active readers of literature have to do for themselves.” John Golden from Reading in the Dark
Every student in your classroom is a highly skilled audience member
They understand cutting and editing techniques
They respond to music and lighting
They recognize archetypal characters
They differentiate between genres
These skills can translate from the viewing to reading in the form of:
Responding to the text
Questioning the text
Film also aids literary analysis through an understanding of conventions such as:
Point of View
An example from Hitchcock’s Psycho
Questions to consider:
How did Hitchcock’s framing choices lead you to see that the birds were somehow important?
Think back on what Norman said about the private traps people get into. How does this relate to the bird symbol?
How do the birds seem to represent Norman, and how do they seem to represent Marion as well?
Barlow, Dudley. “Schindler: Huck in a Major Key” The Education Digest . Ann Arbor:
Dec 1997. Vol. 63; Iss. 4; 40, 4.
Fehlman, Richard H. “Viewing Film and Television as Whole Language Instruction”
English Journal. Urbana: Feb 1996. Vol 85, Iss. 2; 43, 8.
Golden, John. Reading in the Dark. National Council of Teachers of English .Urbana, Illinois: 2001.
Hansbarger, Julian Clark. “Making Constellations: Teaching Students to Write about
Films” English Journal ; Nov. 1990; 79, 7.
Shaw, Mikki. “What’s Hate got to do with It? Using Film to Address Hate Crimes in the School Community” English Journal . Urbana: Feb 1998. Vol 87, Iss. 2; 44, 7.
Sommer, Paul. “Using Film in the English Classroom: Why and How” Journal of
Adolescent and Adult Literacy . Newark: Feb 2001. Vol. 44, Iss. 5; 485, 3.