Film Teacher Resources
Find Film educational ideas and activities
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Film Critique: The Story and the Techniques
Why just show your class a movie when you could teach them how to critique film the same way they do literature? While this activity uses Battlestar Galactica as its visual text of choice, this plan could be used with any film selection. It would be perfect to use with the film adaptation of any literary work. Teens learn what it means to critique as well as how to identify literary and technical aspects of film as they watch various films.
Africa, Africans, and Film
Students examine the impact the Atlantic Slave Trade had on Africa and the African people, through the analysis of literature and film. They identify the geographic regions of Africa and locate selected African countries, countries that are used as later case studies in the examination the legacy of slavery and colonialism
Careers in Film
Students discuss the difference between independent films and and films produced by a major studio. They select an independent filmmaker to research and begin their research from a list of given Web sites. When research is complete, they create a visual display such as a poster, scrapbook, or slide show presentation highlighting the career of the filmmaker.
Hamlet Meets Chushingura: Traditions of the Revenge Tragedy
Students read texts, view film and video and conduct research in an analysis and comparison of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and the Kabuki piece "Chushingura". They focus their analysis on the theme of revenge.
Lesson: Daria Martin: Body as Language
There is a wonderful magic that happens when artists collaborate. Kids examine storytelling through collaborative art. Inspired by Rodin's sculpture Minotaur, Daria Martin and Anna Halprin create a filmed dance sequence. Kids analyze the film and then work together to create a dance sequence that tells a story.
Basic Darkroom Techniques
Students explore a fundamental knowledge of darkroom practice. Students access the basic aspects of black-and-white film processing, printing and enlarging. Students acquaint themselves with functions and purposes of darkroom equipment and darkroom procedures.
Learning about Baseball and History Through Film
High schoolers explore American history through films about baseball. In this film study lesson, students watch video clips from "The Babe," "A League of Their Own," "Eight Men Out," "The Jackie Robinson Story," and "Field of Dreams." High schoolers then use the provided film analysis sheet to log their impressions of the films and discuss American history topics.
Letters from the Plains
Eighth graders read and analyze primary source documents dealing with Nebraska history. In a role-play, they present the information they gathered to their classmates. They examine what live was like for people settling in Nebraska.
Has the Look of Nebraska Changed from 1819 to the 21st Century?
Eighth graders examine and analyze maps of early Nebraska. Using the maps, they compare and contrast them to those of today and identifying how the area has changed over time. They complete a worksheet over the differences in the maps to end the lesson.
Have your middle and high schoolers analyze instances of celebrities using racial slurs or making prejudiced comments in public. After reading an article, they consider the roots and effects of prejudice and bias. As a class, they participate in a fishbowl discussion and write an apology speech for a celebrity who was caught using biased or offensive language. A great plan for kids who idolize our current celebrities without realizing that what they say has consequences!
Lesson: Mathias Poledna: Crystal Palace
Film analysis takes critical thinking, connections, and context. Upper graders look at the film installation, Crystal Palace in terms of the film makers choices, presentation, and perspective of truth. After an analytical discussion of the film, kids take images of their urban landscape, then crop and alter them to create abstractions of their personal realities.
The Visual Grammar of Film
Pupils analyze film terminology to become analytical views and critically examine media. In this film analysis, students identify film terminology and explain the effects of the director's choices. Pupils analyze cinematic and theatrical elements in the film.
Comparing and Contrasting Two Genres: Screwball Comedy and Film Noir with Reference to "Double Indemnity"
Learners compare and contrast the narrative form of film with the artistic style. They also compare the screwball comedy genres with the film noir genre. They examine the historical roots of film.
The City Symphony- The Original Reality Show
Students discuss the purpose of city symphonies that were used in the past. In groups, they compare and contrast the social systems of a school and city to create their own city symphony video together. They also write what is known as a treatment in the present tense to introduce the characters and setting. They record their video and present it to the class.
Everyone's a Critic: Analyzing Sitcoms as Cultural Texts
Start by defining the word sitcom with the goal of launching a discussion. What exactly is a sitcom? How is a sitcom different from sketch comedy, drama, and reality television? Class members give examples, remember storylines they've seen or heard before, and discuss ways to make old ideas seem fresh. There's an article to read (attached), questions to answer, and activities to help your class explore and analyze sitcoms.
Exploring Women's History
Learners read and analyze Jessie Benton Fremont's travelogue of her trip out west in 1849 to identify the gender roles, social attitudes and class distinctions of the time. They then adapt the the travelogue into a film script.
Students discover the origins and different uses of watermelons. Using the internet, they find photographs of the fruit and reading about them in primary source documents. As a class, they plan a community activity in which they use a local watermelon vendor to present their presentation.
Young scholars define many terms related to film and genres. They examine examples of screwball comedy and apply the vocabulary terms to that genre. They discover how to "read" or analyze films they watch.
Students research evidence of different kinds of influence in Muslim societies and analyze their impact. They evaluate commonality and diversity amongst Muslim men and women throughout the world. Students compare student impressions of Muslim men and women before and after viewing the film. Finally, students evaluate how the role of Muslim Americans is perceived by Muslim and non-Muslims in the United States.
Birth of a Nation, the NAACP, and the Balancing of Rights
Eleventh graders analyze primary sources. In this US History lesson, 11th graders interpret written information. Students evaluate arguments and draw conclusions. Students develop and defend a position.