Making Movies in the Learning Environment

It’s been a long time! This post is for my practical presentation on using movie making in the classroom. You could adapt any of the following resources particularly for project-based learning, or you could take parts and use it as part of another approach.

To begin with, here is a link to the movies you all made in class that day (I have to say that I’m proud of the way you guys took to the activity I planned for you, although it was a bit unorthodox):

Next, here is a list of readings that support the idea that students benefit from making their own movies, besides benefiting from critically analyzing those made by their peers or other filmmakers outside their classroom:

This article is about using montage in the teaching of English. I think it’s really relevant, because in my tech class this summer, 3 of the 4 groups made montages rather than films with lines in English. I think there is a reason for that and Mark Reid’s paper highlights what is most useful. He connects the use of montage in the classroom with exploring the “multi-modal dimensions of literary texts and sponsoring critical inquiry.”  Cinema, Poetry, Pedagogy-Montage as Metaphor-Reid

This article is about analyzing films that were made from poems or books. I would add to this idea by getting the Ss to make their own short films about a scene in the book or movie. They could do spin-offs form a scene or even make a scene that was “cut” by an editor/producer/jackass or the FCC. Connely’s Classroom Cutaway-Connelly

This article takes a critical look at the way Hollywood films value and portray education in America. Take a look at this if you enjoy melding critical pedagogy with films: Hollywood Film as Public Pedagogy-Giroux, H.A.

This article is about a new kind of grammar, a grammar of film for media literacy. It’s based on the notion that students from the newer generations are faced with the need to have the ability to negotiate the grammar visual literacy. Students need to “read” visual images in the classroom, on the internet, in the world outside of the classroom. Read this, it will open your eyes. Lights, Camera, Action-Carolyn Fortuna

This is a great article because it provides you with a list of web-based resources for finding all kinds of films. Seriously, Youtube is the tip of the iceberg out there. Read this and you’ll have many more databases to look through, that are more specific to language learning opportunities: The Moving Image-Diana Eastment

This article is about exploring the use of “camcorders” when studying poetry. It will get you thinking about using moving images, like montages, and full fledged films in an English classroom, beyond the teaching of poetry: The Poem, the Reader, the Camera-Cliff Hodges

This link is short, but sweet. It summarizes the importance of using movies in the English classroom, especially in an Asian setting (the article appears in an eastern TESOL organization’s webpage) “Using Movies in the Classroom”

The following blog is dedicated to using technology in the classroom, and the link here is for an entry on “Using iMovie in the Classroom.” Teachers from all over the world leave posts with different ideas on how to make it happen. The page is a resource in and of itself:

Hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and here is a link to the reflective movie I made about teacher talk in my Reading and Writing III course at the Intensive English Program:

3 Responses to “Making Movies in the Learning Environment”
  1. gh52km42 says:

    Mike, thank you for your post. I got many ideas from your articles and websites. I can’t wait to use what I have learned from your post in class.

  2. pshaw48 says:

    Totally awesome post – I love the idea of a grammar of film for media literacy. In fact, there seem to be a lot of connections here between cameras, film and literature and writing of all kinds. Poetry and camcorders – who knew? I followed some of your links and am putting everything on my delicious account for future use. Thanks for a great resource and lots of stimulating ideas.

    You might be interested to know that we have been looking at AV sources with the Russians and we have tried some varied stuff, from an early (season 1) episode of “Numbers” involving a suspected dirty bomb to some heavy duty on-line documentaries. But my favourite has been the series of short films about 9/11 (they are all 11 minutes and 9 seconds long) made in eleven different countries. They are all very different, all really good. And, in a different class, would stimulate lots of creativity in writing as well as film-making.

    So this has been a nice theme for the summer.

    • ieslmymonterey says:

      Yah, grammar of film is a good theme. Please share those videos with me, especially the 911 ones. Are we making a movie some time soon?

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