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How to use movies to connect to learning goals, enhance lessons, and keep kids engaged

Let's explore the critical considerations when integrating movies into the classroom, moving beyond the notion of mere entertainment to unlock enhanced learning opportunities.

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the use of media and technology has become an integral part of the learning experience. However, in order to realize their full potential, educators must consciously understand the “why” behind their integration. Let’s explore the critical considerations when integrating movies into the classroom, moving beyond the notion of mere entertainment to unlock enhanced learning opportunities.

  • Purposeful Integration

When using any form of media or technology, a clear understanding of purpose is paramount. While movies are often shown in the classroom for entertainment or to pass the time, the primary goal should be to enhance the learning experience. Determining whether watching the entire movie is essential or whether well-chosen clips can achieve the desired educational outcomes becomes a key decision.

  • Active viewing for enhanced learning

Encouraging active viewing among students is critical. It goes beyond passive consumption – students are encouraged to dig deep, make connections and engage in critical thinking. This is especially important in a world filled with distractions, where fostering an environment of focused learning is imperative.

  • Making Meaningful Connections

Connecting film to the curriculum offers a wealth of opportunities. By drawing parallels to books, historical events, or significant figures, educators can foster insightful discussions that not only enhance content understanding, but also contribute to media literacy. This approach transforms movies from mere entertainment into powerful educational tools.

  • Comprehensive learning experience

To solidify the film’s role as a valuable component of the learning journey, educators can incorporate activities before, during, and after viewing. This holistic approach ensures that students perceive the film as more than just a source of entertainment-it becomes a substantive and meaningful part of their educational experience.

Useful Resources

The strategic integration of media and technology, particularly film, into the classroom environment has the potential to revolutionize the learning landscape. By embracing purposeful use, encouraging active viewing, making meaningful connections, and orchestrating rich learning experiences, educators can harness the power of visual media to amplify educational impact and foster a generation of critical thinkers and media literate individuals.

Make sure to have a look at those Common Sense movie guides, curated titles, tips for active viewing, and essential guide for showing media in the classroom.

EngagED Learning

EngagED Learning

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