It might surprise some of you that I was once a High School English teacher…
Okay, now that you’re done laughing, I know how hard it can be to develop a lesson plan that will engage students, access their prior knowledge, allows for scaffolding and differentiated instruction, etc. (see? I talk the talk and I walk the walk). However, I wanted to offer one of my more popular lessons from years past.
I never could find a good movie/film review lesson plan on the web, so I finally made one up.
I made it pretty flexible so a teacher could modify it to his/her liking and it includes my extensive expertise on the subject. You can add the standards or objectives you need with little fuss. You’ll have students producing a quality, 2-page essay and give them a bit of education on a form of media most of them take for granted. It’s created for middle school and high school (all secondary school) kids but I imagine a few tweaks could make it work for Elementary. I’ve found this lesson works wonders for the special ed./special need kids who are usually more visually oriented.
This lesson will also placate administrators who are peeking in your windows, wondering why you’re showing movies to the kids. Present them this lesson plan and they’ll say, “Very good… carry on!” and go back to the main office, telling everyone what a good teacher you are (seriously, that’s what happens). Now that’s accountability… as long as you don’t forget to include your grade-level appropriate, state mandated standards!
As a gift to my former colleagues and all the teachers around the world, I’m giving this to you for free. You can thank me by writing “Coop Cooper is a genius” on the chalkboard. Or you could write my website address http://www.smalltowncritic.com on the board so the kids can go to my site and have hundreds of examples of reviews to help them in their assignment. Either will work.
In all seriousness, I’d appreciate hearing from teachers to see how they implemented this lesson, what modifications you used, what worked, what didn’t… I highly value the feedback since I plan on adding onto and improving this lesson.
The lesson contains:
- A lesson outline
- Vocabulary with definitions and clear examples
- A worksheet handout
- “Movie Review Project” instructions (criteria sheet w/ clear scoring explanation)
- A review template handout to show the outline of an effective review
- An accurate example of a review that reflects the template and instructions
P.S. Pass this along to any teachers you think might benefit from this lesson!
P.P.S. To all you seasoned writers who want to know how to write a professional-level movie review, I’m going to be working on another document specifically for you sometime in the near future. It woudn’t hurt for you to check this one out, though. You may learn something.