Margin Notes

TRY THIS TOMORROW: FILM CLUB

Mar
18

In the newly-developed literacy curriculum developed for our province, text is defined as “not just the written word—other examples include an oral story, a musical score, a piece of art, a mathematical equation, a dance, a chemical formula, a game, a network of linked web pages, an advertisement, a video, an outfit.”

We celebrate this expanded definition of “text” because it encourages us to reconsider not just what forms and genres students are exposed to, but also to reflect on what it means to read and to compose.

Film Club is a fantastic resource for teachers curated by The New York Times Learning Network. These short documentaries, many of which have running times shorter than 10 minutes, can be incorporated into high school ELA classrooms just like any other short text. For example, they can be used as:

  • quickwrites
  • mini-lessons
  • small-group and whole-class discussions
  • critical thinking prompts
  • mentor texts
  • building background knowledge
  • part of a theme-based text set
  • self-selected independent reading

Reflect on what percentage of texts your students consume. How do you incorporate texts such as these short documentaries? We’d love to hear your strategies in the comments!

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