I understand that this may differ from district to district. I am a new sub who has a long-term position w/some challenging kids. I teach language arts in a basic skills setting. I am looking for ideas for movies that I can show and have the kids write something about.
I know the kids like Happy Feet, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Madagascar...how can I tie that in to language arts so it has some educational value?
Thanks...Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
A standard in my low level 6th grade class is "The Whipping Boy" with George C. Scott. Made in 1995, based on the novel by Fleishmann (the screenplay also written by him), and is totally guilt-free as it is so well-done, aligns iteself with the book, and provokes discussion. Most of the kids have read the book, but in 4th or 5th grade, so it makes a great refresher. I've had the movie on VHS for years, but do not know if it's available. Amazon would be your best bet.
A movie I recently saw on Hallmark which I plan to use in language next year is O. Henry's "Ransom of Red Chief" with Christopher Lloyd. Exceptionally done, O. Henry's language has been updated so is more easily understood by the young set. They played with the plot a little, but nothing drastic, as far as I can remember. Red Chief, the little hellion, should be a fun for the students to write about.
Both are rated G.
I tend to stay away from the popular, trendy movies as I find some of my kids have seen them a trillion times over. They must rent a DVD and loop it over and over and over!
These bring in the educational connection nicely and have great possibilities for extensions. Applying and adapting reading interest and comprehension techniques can reinforce skills in both areas. It might be interesting to teach/review reading techniques using a different work by the same author, then viewing the movie based on the author's book or story. If you use an anticipation technique, part of that can be based on the recent observation of the author.
I was pleased when the 5th grade classes I was assisting started using science videos, but dismayed at how little of the science some of them learned. It seemed to be much less than they got from the much more reluctant reading. For them, the images seemed to distract more than illustrate. I've had the privilege of working with a couple of great middle school science teachers who model good viewing techniques. I've also seen videos used intentionally as distractions and filler. I thank you both for choosing to make the viewing instructive.
Can you show PG movies? I would show something that they wouldn't normally see themselves. Something older, but very cool, like Raiders of the Lost Ark. They have it in Walmart now. Since it's an adventure movie, you can have them write what they would do differently/same, realistic/fantasy parts, an alternate ending, etc...
My fifth grade GT students LOVED The Grapes of Wrath which we did as part of a the study of the Depression and the Dust Bowl.
Also, any books/novels you might have read, have them watch the video to go with it and do a compare/contrast of the two.
We could only show PG movies; however, one year our sixth graders read "Undying Glory" about the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. It was about the same time that the movie "Glory" (Matthey Broderick, Denzel Washington) was released, and we wanted the kids to see the movie after we'd read the book. So, we typed up a release and asked parents' permission to let the kids see the movie, got the principal to approve it, and sent it home. Only two kids weren't allowed to watch (out of 40+ kids).
in my district, we are allowed to show G movies and PG only if there is good reason and parents have signed permission slips. (isn't Glory PG-13?)
i have found that my students (6th) are enthralled with the OLD Disney videos. they LOVED Gus, the Field Goal Kicking Mule--very slapstick! perhaps you could show them the original Flubber movie (absent-minded professor?) and then have them write technical text on how to create an invention. they could summarize the story, cut off the last paragraph and change the ending.
Maybe it is just me, but I would be cautious
of Raiders. Loved the movie myself, but...
there are definitely a few racy moments
(sleeping together on the ship...). While
there is no nudity or blatent sex, I think
it would be enough to set a few middle
schoolers off. Maybe it would be ok for
your kids though. Just a thought.
Yikes! I didn't remember those parts! It's rated PG, so I was assuming there wasn't anything like that in there. I know the later movies in that series are rated PG13, so maybe that scene is in one of those?
Okay - scratch that idea unless you watch it again first.
♥ I suggest "Remember The Titans." This movie is rich with educational value. This is a perfect movie to display during Black History Month. This movie is based on a true story and it will give the students an insight of the struggles blacks and whites had to go threw before their time. This story is about a black and white football team forming together into one and learning to accept other peoples differences and most importantly respecting each other. Ask the students to write a detailed report on the movie and what this movie meant to them. It's educational and fun to watch. Good Luck.
♥ Apollo 13. This movie is also a wonderful piece to use for a writing assignment. I think your students would be very excited about hearing the tale of a few astranauts launching themselves into space. However I would chose this movie for 8th Grade because this movie has alot of profanity. I am not sure what he rating on this movie is but I am guessing it is PG-13.
This thread reminded me of a couple problems I have had with movies in the classroom. When I was student teaching (Science) I had been talking about a predator/prey relationships and decided to show part of a video recommended to me by another teacher--the video included a scene of a couple lizards mating. You can imagine the reaction of the class.
My first year teaching I taught Social Studies and had been talking about the cold war. I remembered the movie "Wargames" was about the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union. It was rated PG so my principal said I could show it without permission slips. It was strange--I had forgotten how much profanity was used throughout the movie. I was mortified.
Personally, I think kids watch enough movies at home for the most part. I show as few as possible in language arts class. As a sub, does your district allow you to bring in movies to show to students? In our county, movies must belong to the media center and be approved by a committee before using in a classroom. That being said...my students really enjoyed Fiddler on the Roof--which is rated G. I showed this one year just before Christmas holidays and after a unit on traditions and change. The kids filled in a graphic organizer identifying characters, plot, theme, setting. They made similes/metaphors comparing the characters to animals. I had the DVD, and when we had a few minutes at the end of the day to burn, I'd screen one of the songs that the kids liked. At the time, Gwen Stefani was singing "Rich Girl" which is a variation of "If I were a Rich Man." They also liked the nightmare graveyard scene a lot.
It is rated R for language and violence - it's mostly the gore of the war that caused the rating. I teach in a district that, at the time, was predominantly African American, and I think parents felt this was an important part of history for their children to see. There was no "senseless" violence (other than war.. but not just killing for the sake of killing type thing), no sexual references... a few curse words and alot of blood. As I stated before, only two parents objected to their kids watching. My friend and I shared a portable with an adjoining door, so I took all the students in my room, and the two who couldn't watch, played games and read in her room while the rest watched.
The only other time I've had to get permission was for one of Shakespeare's plays which was rated R due to language and violence (Henry V, maybe??.. one of the Richards??)... but all of my students were allowed to watch... we were doing a Ren Festival and they were doing a play, so it related and parents let them watch.
As to bringing in or using the ones from the media center... I can bring in one if it directly relates to what I'm teaching (i.e. Glory after reading the book; a Shakespearean movie if we're studying Shakespeare, that sort of thing). Any other movies we show have to be the ones from the media center that are library movies.. which somehow have a different copyright from the ones you buy/rent yourself... and can be shown for general viewing.
When I taught 6th grade I showed the movie The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. It is a movie about a science teacher in his late thirties that decides to follow his dream...playing professional baseball. The high school team that he coaches makes a bet that if they win the championship, then he must try out for pro baseball. It is actually a Disney film and I think it is rated PG. It is a great movie about achieving your dreams.
Actually I think The Rookie is rated G! That's a good one! I think there's one place where he pops his wife on her behind, but I don't think there's anything else that's "questionable" (not that you'd consider that questionable).
"Radio" is a great one, too. It is rated PG. It is a great one to discuss racisim, prejudice against mentally disabled, acceptance, friendship, and more. You could get a lot of great writing assignments out of it and could tie in character education.
My students love it! My own children do, too.
OH, and it is based on a true story, so if you get the DVD, there are "extras" where you can show your students the real "Radio" (student portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and the real coach. My students loved watching that "extra feature" almost more than the movie. It is so fun to see their reaction when they realize it is a true story and what the characters real life was like.
There is a website I love that helps me get the inside scoop on age appropriateness of movies, music, etc. It is commonsensemedia.org.
They state Radio is age appropriate for 10+.
I showed "Race to Space" with James Woods this spring while doing rocketry. I'm not sure what it is rated, but I didn't have to worry about the language. A bit Hollywoodish, but still provides insite to the space race with USSR, and that many of our original space scientists immigrated from Nazi Germany. Kids loved it.
Also show "October Sky." The language may be an issue, but it accurately depicts the hard life of miners in the late 50s, early 60s and how Hickam reached for his dream of working in a space career. I always preface the movie with a discussion regarding education, local language and dialect.
On my shelf and used for emergencies (i.e. I get too sick to make sub plans) is a G-rated version of Space Camp. Fun and can stretch to apply to standards. A company out of Salt Lake City took the original PG version (with language) and dubbed it out. Wonder if that company is still around? I'm sure an internet query would answer that.