The Power of Film

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom.  This week we take a look at film director Beeban Kidron’s speech  “The Shared Wonder of Film” from TED Talks conference in London last year. Kidron talks about the power of film to create shared experiences. This is something Labragirl Film Project brings to K-16 history and social studies classrooms.

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TED ( Technology, Entertainment, Design)  Talks  is a  global conference that encourages the exchanges of ideas. Last year at London TED Talks, director Beeban Kidron spoke about the “The Shared Wonder of Film.” Kidron is a co-founder of FILMCLUB, an organization dedicated to sharing a love of film with children.

Let’s watch and discuss.

Labragirl Film Project agrees with Beeban Kidron; movies do have the power to create a shared narrative experience and help shape world views for children (and adults!)

What do you think of Kidrons’ speech?

Do you agree?  

Share with your students and let us know about your conversations.

Let’s talk film!

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

Film — The 21st Century Language

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom. This week we explore a short film about the importance of film education. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Film Literacy is Essential for 21st Century Students

“The best kind of film education engages young people in active learning. It goes beyond just passively consuming or watching film”

Kenneth Branagh

Actor Kenneth Branagh advocates for film literacy education.   {Click on image for source information.}

21st Century Literacy is a a film education methodology designed to help students develop media literacy skills.  21st Century Literacy is backed by the British Film Institute,  Film Club, First Light and the UK Film Council. They also work closely with the National and Regional Screen Agencies and Skillset.

Check out this short film where actor Kenneth Branagh discusses the benefits of using film and moving images in the classroom.

We here at Labragirl certainly agree with the importance of film literacy.

Do you?

Do you use film in your classroom? What are some of your favorite film literacy exercises or conversations?

Would you like help using film in the classroom? If so, contact us!

 

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

Language of the Screen

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom. This week the Labragirl Film Project’s classroom resource suggestion is an organization that will helps connect educators and also provides educational resources for teachers.

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Labragirl Recommends Edutopia

Edutopia is an educational website published by the non-profit organization, The George Lucas Educational Foundation.  This website and organization aim to improve K-12 learning by documenting, disseminating, and advocating for innovative strategies that prepare students to flourish in their education. Included in this approach is media and film literacy.

“When people talk to me about the digital divide, I think of it not so much about who has access to what technology as about who knows how to create and express themselves in the new language of the screen. If students aren’t taught the language of sound and images, shouldn’t they be considered as illiterate as if they left college without being able to read and write?”

George Lucas, filmmaker (Sept.2004, Edutopia, Life on the Screen)

George Lucas. Filmmaker & founder of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. {Click on image for source information.}

Multi-Media Approach to Education

One of Edutopia‘s core concepts is integrated studies; combining two or more academic subjects helps reinforce connections and develop a deeper understanding of the material. Take a look at Edutopia‘s video about the concept of multi-media integrated studies in public schools and how this approach helps students move beyond the traditional academic setting.

For information about Edutopia and integrated studies: Click here.

You can also find Edutopia on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

Film Shaping Minds

Welcome to the ’13-’14 school year.

This week we are kicking off our ’13-’14 AY Moving Images-Moving Forward blog.

The mission of our blog is to provide film and media literacy resources to middle school, high school, and college educators.  In this space, we will create conversations about film analysis related resources, classroom activities, and pedagogy.  We will also provide interactive discussions that you can use in your classrooms.

Every Monday at 9AM (Mountain) we will post a film literacy resource, classroom activity, or educational discussion.

This week Executive Director, Laurie Chin Sayres discusses:

  1. the importance of being film and media literate; and
  2. why it’s important to bring film analysis into history classes.

Please comment below or discuss with us on 

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Film Shaping Minds

by Laurie Chin Sayres

Molly-with-Light-GALS

Film camp student explores moving images and lighting.

In many years of teaching students at multiple levels, one truth has become clear to me: students, even those having the benefit of strong curricula and innovative teaching methods, often lack the ability to effectively understand how images shape their understanding of events and how they view the world.

Therefore, it is critical that we bring film and media literacy into our classrooms to:

1) equip students with critical thinking skills;

2) engage students with the educational process; and

3) provide students with the skills necessary to be capable citizens.

We often downplay or even ignore the influence moving images have on our understanding of the world because we consider movies and TV to be entertainment only.  Although I agree that film and television primarily serve as entertainment in our society, making the assumption that movies and TV do not shape the way see the world simply because these moving images may not influence our factual reality is dangerous. This dismissive perspective prevents us from bringing film into our educational system in any meaningful capacity.

Our understanding of the world is formed by personal interaction with people, places, and things, and in large part, by movie and TV images.  Once we see something it becomes a visual reality—even if not a factual reality.  For example, we know that Jaws is not a real shark, yet the moving images of the animatronic shark have clearly shaped our collective image of great white sharks and our behaviors towards the ocean and beach culture.

Similar to reading illiteracy, students who cannot decode or think critically about moving images are at a disadvantage because they do not have the ability to navigate a world saturated with moving images.  To help students become media literate and understand the role of images in shaping the way they see the world, it is important to shift from talking about thematic content to analyzing moving images from a visual and technical perspective.

Helping students read and decode moving images includes teaching them about the components of images, from camera framing to lighting to editing. With this knowledge, students will be able to see and discuss the ways images convey certain ideas and attitudes. An effective hands-on vehicle to teach these lessons is film production. This tactile approach adds an important dimension to students’ understanding of film literacy.

Armed with film literacy skills, students will then be able to engage in critical thinking conversations about how moving images shape our ideas and perspectives, providing students with valuable education and life skills. For example, students will be able to discuss the ways extreme close-up (XCU) shots have the ability to convey more intimate emotion and the ways lighting can shape the attitude we have toward the subjects in the image.

It is no secret that once we leave the classroom we find ourselves in a world where its understanding of history is largely shaped by media images, not academic study.  So, let’s bring film into social studies classrooms to help students navigate both the academic study of history and also our collective popular culture image of the past—the version of history our society uses to make many of its decisions.

A discussion example can be found in Glory.  This 1989 film ends with the camera first zooming into a close-up of several dead African-American Civil War soldiers, then the camera moves in even closer to see the one white officer who agreed to lead this regiment, dead in the trenches. Would the idea of the past have been different if the film ended a few scenes earlier with a medium shot of soldiers both charging their enemies and also falling to the bayonet? Both scenes can be construed as “factually accurate,” yet visually each scene leaves audiences with a very different picture of the past.

Once students recognize that film images have influence on the ways we think they respond with enthusiasm. For they are now able to think critically about the moving images that surround them in the classroom and as they move throughout their lives.

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Sign up for our e-newsletter for more lesson plans and classroom conversations. Click here. 

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.