Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Imitation Game

Our next movie was The Imitation Game. This was a challenging movie to look at the concept of heroes and how people are treated despite their contributions to society. Set in WW#2 it was a powerful movie to study for our move through modern history.

It was certainly thought provoking, and well worth watching! The discussion was rich and overall it was a great session.

Here are the Questions to The Imitation Game.

Friday, May 27, 2016

12 Angry Men
Our next movie, a real classic was set in the early 1950's with a jury getting ready to give a verdict. 
It was really a thinking movie with lots to discuss!

We discussed all kinds of topics from capital punishment to reasonable doubt. We discussed our justice system and group decision making in all kinds of areas. This was a rich discussion that was challenging for all. 

Here are the questions for 12 Angry Men.

Chariots of Fire

Our next movie, Chariots of Fire was set in the 1920's. It was an excellent study on so many levels. Learning about how our choices honor God, ourselves or men.

Eric Liddell's testimony through this film is truly inspiring!! 

Here are the questions to Chariots of Fire.

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
As we move through modern history, Wild Heart Can't be Broken is set in the Depression Era and includes lots of elements of grit and determination against all odds. 

Entertainment in travelling fairground shows were experiencing hard times which is the setting of this movie.

Our protagonist, and determined young woman really showed us about choices made and really making the best out of tough situations. 

Here are the questions to Wild Hearts Can't be Broken.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Flyboys was quite a contrast to All Quiet on the Western Front! It was great to contrast two different places to serve in WW#1 and the risks in both. You might have lived longer as a soldier but the conditions were horrific, as a pilot your life expectancy was shorter but the conditions were better - that is quite a dilemma to discuss!
Again we learned more about WW#1 through this movie - especially elements of the geography of the air battles.

Here are the questions for Flyboys

All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front was a sobering way to start of the new year. 
For Grade 11 all of the videos we are studying are based on modern history starting at WW#1. This was a much heavier film that anything we had seen before.
 There was so much to discuss. The movie being told from the German perspective made our students think. From characters to irony we covered several literary themes. We also covered the atrocities of WW#1. I hope you enjoy this movie with your students! Blessings, Natalie

Here are the questions for All Quiet on the Western Front.

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist was a great story for next student led session. There are several moral dilemmas in Oliver Twist that our student was able to highlight. He did a great job leading us!
The students discussed issues like "Why would someone stay in an abusive situation?" "How did one person's actions affect another's life" and the messages that Dicken's was telling us through Oliver Twist. 

Here are the questions, including the link to the movie on You-tube.
Blessings, Natalie

To Kill a Mockingbird
We had a great session of discussion after watching To Kill a Mockingbird. This is such an amazing book and movie and there was much to discuss. This is such an engaging story, I don't think that our students really noticed it was not in colour
I suggested that the students might also want to watch Harper Lee's biography called Hey Boo. It was available through Hoopla and our local library, so it might be available through yours too ;)

I led this session and here are the questions for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Pendragon - Sword of His Father - Student Led
Here are the questions by one of our students for leading the movie Pendragon: Sword of His Father. Our student did lots of research about this movie - his questions are very well done!

Rebecca - Student Led
Such a great classic movie and class!! Rebecca was an excellent choice with all of the twists and turns in the plot. From what I could tell from the discussion in our class, these students got past this being a 1940 black and white and really engaged in the story. Our student who led was passionate about the movie and I think that rubbed off on the students.
It was wonderful to be back in Google Hangouts again!! There was so much more discussion and participation. I always appreciate our student's viewpoints and their sense of humor!! It is a joy for me to listen to them as they discussed each question. I love this class!!

Here are the student questions for Rebecca.


Anne of Green Gables - Student Led
Another great class that was led in Blackboard by one of our students. I love the way each student puts and emphasis on the elements of the movie that are important to them. Learning to draw out participation from the class is challenging sometimes, but our student led very well!! This is our last session using Blackboard, we are going back to Google Hangouts. The technology really does make a difference in the responses and I love how Google Hangouts is so visual - it really encourages participation!!

Here are the student questions for Anne of Green Gables.


National Treasure - Student Led
We had another great session with Movies as Literature. Most of our students really liked this movie and knew it well. This session was student led and was very well done.
The questions were clear and well thought out and I liked the fact that our student had an intent behind several of the questions that he asked. He wanted to point out parts of the movie that other's might have missed. 

Here are the student questions for National Treasure.


The Book Thief - Student Led Session
We had our next student led session of the year with the movie being the Book Thief. It was another great learning opportunity.
The themes brought out in this session were love, family, loss and the ability to cope under great pain. The depth of understanding in this group of teens amazes me! 
Here are the questions written by the student.

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Student Led Session
It was great to see our first student led session in our Movies as Literature class. I think that because we have been doing this class for a while now, the students really know what is expected and how to lead it. Our first brave girl started us off and it was great to see her leading with such confidence. I only interjected once or twice with a few questions of my own, but other than that I was definitely a “silent partner” in this endeavor! Here are her questions.
There was lots of literary value in The Scarlet Pimpernel and there were enough twists and turns in the plot to make it interesting. I enjoyed seeing how the discussion went and I always enjoying seeing the students chat in the chat bar. It doesn’t seem to distract from the class at all - however it does make it challenging for the person leading the class. These students participate for social reasons as well as the educational content and that is something that I support fully - I truly believe in learning from each other!
Last year we studied the French Revolution so this helped in adding context to the study of the Scarlet Pimpernel. 

There is such value in having the Google Doc open and reading other’s responses as well as adding to the document “real time”. The students covered everything from substance abuse to trust in marriage and many other topics as well. They answered the questions with thoughtfulness, honesty and sometimes humor ;)
I appreciate this class so much!
Blessings, Natalie

Gods and Generals
This morning was our next session and we were discussing Gods and Generals which is about the US Civil War. This was a 6 hour mini-series which some of the students watched. We watched the movie version that was a little over 2 hours. Any way that you watched it, it was very heavy!
I wouldn't say that it was our student's favourite, but there was lots to discuss!
There were quotes and poetry within the movie so it was great for the students to look at these elements of literature. There were many verses as well as biblical application. Many situations in the movie, I felt, led to moral dilemmas, exploring irony and lots of critical thinking. 
These students really were able to really think about the implications of their opinions and how it applied to today.
I continue to be challenged by this group of students! 
Here are the questions for Gods and Generals for you to use with your class.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Amazing Grace
Another amazing class!! Though slavery was a topic these students knew about, many didn't have the emotional connection to the plight of the slaves until they studied this movie.

I think learning about William Wilberforce was inspiring, not only because of his fight for abolition, but also his fight with his illness, with his addiction to laudanum and his fight to be the man that God was calling him to be.
This was a great movie for discussion! Here are the questions that we used.

The Young Victoria
It is great to be back after taking the summer off from schooling! One of the highlights for me is to start once again with our Movies as Literature class. Our first class was The Young Victoria. In Social Studies this year we will be studying the Victorian era so this movie was as much a Social Studies class as a literature one. 
I do love to participation of these students! How they comment on each others work, how they share in the questions, and their participation in the session itself has been wonderful. Google Docs has definitely been a great collaboration tool.
Here are the questions to The Young Victoria. If you need advice on setting up your virtual English class using movies, just let me know. I would love to help! 
Blessings, Natalie

Jane Eyre

Our final Google Hangout for the Year! It has been wonderful to have this experience with these inspirational students!
Today was Jane Eyre. There was some controversy this session and not all the students agreed in their answers to the questions. We used this You-tube version of Jane Eyre as our movie, though some of the students had read the book or watched a different version as well as this one.
Questions with bigger themes about love, conscience and faith are bound to have some differences of opinion. It is great to see the students back up their answers. 
It is also wonderful to see them laugh together and learn together!
I am finding more and more that I will need to be prepared with extensions for each of the questions in order to stimulate more discussion. This is something I will be mindful of for next year. 
The questions for Jane Eyre are here.
Blessings! Natalie

The Detective - Father Brown
Our next mystery was The Detective - Father Brown with Alec Guiness. This movie was made in 1939, but the students enjoyed it none the less. I love the way that they are willing to engage in these old black and whites and find them interesting, applicable and worth their time!

Several of the questions they didn't agree 100% on - which to me is a beautiful thing. I want them to stand for what the believe in and be able to defend their answers. They are willing to do this more and more as we get to know each other better. I love it when I hear "I don't agree"!!
Father Brown and Flambeau were interesting characters that allowed for some great questions.

The Red Headed League - Sherlock Holmes

Though a great mystery to explore, The Red Headed League didn’t have as much action or tension compared to The Hound of the Baskervilles, so I don’t think that it was a favourite of most of our students. However in the Google Doc, and then in class, they explored foils, different Sherlock personas, Arthur Conan Doyle’s life and much more. We found the Red Headed League on You-tube.

The Hound of the Baskerville

Our next adventures in Movies for Learning was to explore a some great mysteries. What would exploring mysteries be if I didn't include a few Sherlock Holmes movies. These two movies were opportunities to look at foreshadowing, setting, plot and suspense.
We chose an older version of Sherlock Holmes so that it was readily available to all of our students. We used the 1939 version which you can find on Daily Motion here.

North and South - A four part series on The Industrial Revolution

North and South was an excellent four part mini series from the BBC about England during the Industrial Revolution. This mini-series was a great opportunity to explore the textile industry and the horrific conditions that the workers endured. It also presented the challenges of the mill owners in a way that helped our students to see both sides of the issues.
We divided this into four sessions because it was such an engaging series. 
I chose North and South for the following reasons:
1. It covers issues of strikes, unions, child labour, working conditions and many aspects of the Industrial Revolution.
2. It was readily available on Netflix.
3. It had vivid characters with several dilemmas they had to face.
4. The story had characters both girls and boys could relate to. This is important to me in order to keep both engaged.
Sharing a document using Google Docs and then meeting on Google Hangouts has been a great way to collaborate. The students enjoy commenting on each other's answers and they are animated in the discussion times. Often there is debate and this series was no different.

The students enjoyed this series and had lots to discuss! I hope that your student does too!! Blessings! Natalie