WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF BEING IN FULL-TIME EDUCATION?
RAUCOUS CLASSROOMS? BORING LESSONS? EXAM REVISION HELL? EVERYONE WILL HAVE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE OF THEIR LIFE IN SCHOOL OR COLLEGE, BUT WE’LL BET A PRETTY PENNY THAT BIG SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF IT.
Whether you were heading out to the cinema with a group of friends or talking about your favourite movies in the classroom, we’d suspect films were always a popular topic of conversation.
This statement would also seem to be backed up by stone-cold fact; with statistics showing that over 70% of 10-15 year-olds visit the cinema regularly, and this has risen to over 79% for those aged 16-24 year-olds in the past year.
Film is the crafty veteran of adolescent entertainment. Whilst playground fads have come and gone (Tamagotchi, anyone?), cinema has remained rock solid.
It’s the Rocky Balboa of entertainment. It’ll take the knocks and the challenges, but it’ll keep getting up again and again and again! And, its ongoing longevity with young people is good news for when it comes to keeping classrooms motivated, student morale high and productive.
TAKE YOUR STUDENTS ON A CINEMATIC JOURNEY
We all know that school years can drag; especially on the run-up to summer, the festive break or dreaded exams.
This is where the power of cinema can help you to boost student morale and productivity and help them reach the end of their academic year on a high without a loss of interest or a drop in academic grades.
USING FILM TO IMPROVE COMPREHENSION
The thing with learning is that it involves a lot of reading. It’s unavoidable, really. Even we still shudder at thought of our English Literature anthologies…
Whilst in-class reading materials will always be an invaluable source of information, it’s also a fact that students might either find reading difficult, or simply not enjoy it. Sure, they may be making reading logs or taking notes, but are they perhaps missing crucial understanding?
If your students have got a whole novel to read as part of their syllabus, engagement and student morale can suddenly drop through the floor if they’re not engaging or understanding the material.
This is where film can help improve that all-important engagement.
COMPARING AND CONTRASTING
With a novel still fresh in their minds, students who have strong comprehension skills will enjoy seeing how a film compares to their mental picture of what they have read. After all, there are a huge variety of films based on historical events, and it’s often the case that film producers can take ‘artistic liberties’ with how those events are portrayed on screen.
So, asking your student to compare and contrast is a great way to build interest and engagement with the subject matter to hand.
On the other side of the coin, the students who perhaps have struggled with comprehension will instead be able to see what they perhaps have misunderstood or been able to full grasp – thus catching up with the rest of the class and enjoying themselves in the process.
Regular assessments are important for keeping track on student’s retention of knowledge, but they’re useless for helping catch the students who may be falling behind before it’s too late.
A film version of a novel or subject matter offers a quick-and-easy solution to this problem.
Instead of waiting until the end of a syllabus, perhaps show 5-10 minutes of a film about the matter after every few chapters of reading in lessons.
The students who have strong comprehension skills will enjoy seeing how the film compares to their mental picture of what they have read. Conversely, the students who might have fallen behind with comprehension will be able to visualise what they’ve misunderstood and catch up with their classmates that little bit quicker.
USING THE LANGUAGE OF FILM
For those teaching a foreign language, or even English for that matter, using film to illustrate and frame that language is a great way to demonstrate that language in action.
Reading from a textbook or learning from informational videos is one thing, but with the cinema world teeming with brilliant foreign language movies, students may engage with their chosen foreign language much more effectively by seeing it in action and enjoying the experience, too.
A LITTLE INCENTIVE TO GO THE EXTRA MILE
Finally, introducing a rewards system that encourages good behaviour, attendance and learning is a great way to boost student morale and classroom engagement – and the power of cinema is a tempting and cost-effective reward!
As we mentioned earlier on, film has remained a steadfast and resolutely popular form of entertainment with young people. The only thing that really holds it back is the cost; with the average cost of a cinema ticket around £7.20, it can be expensive for youngsters to visit the cinema regularly without making a withdrawal from the bank of Mum & Dad.
Using a trip to the cinema to reward students for hard work, good behaviour or amazing attendance is something that will really resonate with them but also appeal to a huge spread of tastes and demographics. Plus, the chance to have an evening out with friends or family without the added expense is something they’ll really appreciate and be happy to go the extra mile for.