When selecting a text or curriculum for a particular film, you should look for these things. The tools you choose should provide an outline and synopsis of the film that provide an overview or roadmap to guide the learning experience. It will help you and your children understand what is going in within the movie as well as how relationships, situations and events interrelate within the movie itself. This overview should introduce the historical context for the film so that your children can properly understand and position the context of the film. Moreover, questions, discussion starters, and various activities all play a role in facilitating the educational process.
Review questions are always effective at key breakpoints in the film. They help focus the children and keep them actively engaged in the learning process. It helps them develop their observational skills as they begin to seek out details, techniques and points of view to further engage in discussion.
Research and Synthesis
Additional activities should extend the fabric of the film study beyond the edges of the movie itself. Explore the surrounding historical context, people and events with questions, research and synthesis in areas surrounding the film. Your children should find ample opportunity to sharpen research, writing and discussion skills as they endeavor to consider and answer questions that simply cannot be answered by viewing the film alone. These activities should provide a connecting point that can bring in other key areas of your educational program and reinforce your educational goals.
Art and Technique
Explore the art and techniques that help create the world your children are experiencing on the screen. This is the chance to examine how these tools are used and applied in creating the look, narrative, and message chosen for the film being studied.
Point of View / Worldview
Critical thinking and analysis skills are sharpened here. Build on the work accomplished by your students thus far and use that to guide the discussion of what the filmmakers are trying to say. These discussions are your chance to compare and contrast your beliefs and values, and can help your children understand how they fit into the world around them. Question areas should ask them to articulate what they think and feel is being conveyed by the movie. Challenge them to consider how that message or agenda fits in with or conflicts with their beliefs, values, and morals. Ask them what are the ramifications of this particular film view. Help them draw conclusions from the events of the movie, their homework, and ensuing discussions.