Terms & Definitions
For a run through and a very quick do-it-yourself film course, Louis Giannatti’s Understanding Movies (Giannetti (2008)_Understanding Movies) is a great resource. It is very easy to read, provides many examples, and ranges in topics from storytelling in film to specific cinematic techniques (proxemics, angles, lighting, sound, etc.) to mise-en-scene analysis. There is also, CineFix, a YouTube channel that is a great resource. If you are new to the exploration of film in the classroom, it is highly recommended to take a read through Ginnatti’s text. For more guidance, Claire is available to provide workshops for teachers of all levels and subjects.
The following are examples of film units I have used in my high school English classes. All range in depth of analysis, Psycho, likely required the deepest level of analysis of the film. Please feel free to contact Claire should you have any questions, etc.
The following are links to websites I have come across that have helped me to develop my film units. I have also included some websites that discuss the importance of teaching film and would be viewed more for general interest on the topic. However, perhaps even one of these websites will offer some inspiration in your classroom.
Obviously, if you are ever looking for a detailed summary about a movie, IMDB is an excellent go-to website.
Film Education is a site that is based out of the UK, where it promotes and supports the use of films in classrooms. There are numerous and various film units that can be found here that can apply to a variety of different themes and topics.
Teaching Film in High School ELA is a site that was developed by a former colleague, Brad Smilanich. In addition, he provides a more comprehensive list of films and other resources that may be helpful.
The Film Foundation was developed by Martin Scorsese as a way to protect and preserve motion pictures. They have also developed innovative educational programs with the hopes of educating young people about the significance of film, called The Story of Movies.
If you are concerned about the rating of a film and/or are curious about the appropriateness of its contents, then the site Kids-In-Mind: Movie Ratings provides a good break down of what to expect in terms of graphic content, such as sex/nudity, violence/gore and profanity. It is very specific and provides detailed examples of even the most recent films.
The TEDTalks Blog, 9 TEDTalks about The Making of Movie Magic, is exceptionally interesting and inspiring and could be used as an instructional tool in the classroom.