By Karen Stanley
I'd be interested in the different ways that people use particular films. The following ideas come from a 1994 presentation by Strother, Bank and Burgess.
Example one: Mrs. Doubtfire
1) Have students write an ad for the film
2) Write a letter to a parent that you know telling him/her why he/she should hire Mrs. Doubtfire
3) Write a summary of the family values you see in the film
4) Write a newspaper editorial about family abandonment
Example two: Fantasia
1) Have students listen to one of the musical segments *without* seeing the film and write down the images that they imagine. Then show that segment of the film. Depending on their level, have them either compare/contrast their images with the film's images, or simply describe the images in the film.
2) Have them watch the sorcerer's apprentice segment. Then have them write or tell the story.
Example three: Dead Poets Society
1) Have students decide -- something they liked about the film -- a part of the film that could be improved, and explain how/why -- whether or not Mr. Keating was a good English teacher -- whether they would recommend the film: why or why not
2) In pairs, one person should agree and the other disagree about each of the statements. Support your position.
-- Neil's father is to blame for his death
-- The ultimate goal of education is to help students think for themselves
-- The competitive atmosphere of a high pressure prep school like Welton Academy provides a very good learning atmosphere for its students
-- It is not healthy for young boys to be sent away to school. They need to be with their families. -- Parents should put a great deal of pressure on their sons and daughters to do well academically so that they will succeed in life.
-- Success can be measured by the prestige of the college you gain admittance to