by Bethany Johnsen
Although movies are often shown in school as a reward or a break, some English teachers now use films to teach critical thinking skills. This Education Week article about using film as a teaching tool in ways that align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is sure to interest teachers of the gifted. In a world where literacy in nonprint media forms is becoming increasingly important, and where the CCSS English Language Arts standards include film as a text type, there is no reason for advanced students to wait until college to begin learning how to critically analyze a film.
Teachers use film to spark thought in a variety of ways. Suggestions from the article include asking students to identify motifs and having them compare novels and films with common themes. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, ReadWriteThink, Australian Teachers of Media, and Media Literacy Clearinghouse are great places to start looking for film studies curricula and resources.