You know those day when you NEED a movie? Maybe you have bronchitis, yet you couldn't get a sub, or maybe your stack of grading resembles the Sears tower. BUT, you don't want to waste valuable educational time by just providing a movie when kids today watch enough TV as it is.
This is the perfect project for that day. It can be used at any time with any unit and it spans beyond a simple worksheet by encouraging critical thinking skills.
When most of our students go to college, they have to attend and write up different cultural events, yet most middle and high schools never train them to do this. This assignment provides instructions and a sample essay for students to practice this type of essay before they get to college. It even provides a simple rubric for teachers to use to make grading easier.
Here is what is provided:
1.) A prompt sheet
2.) A sample annotated essay about the Pixar short "Presto" (found on YouTube)
(I recommend showing this short first, then going over the sample essay as a class. After you do this, you can segue into the film you are about to show.)
3.) A grading rubric
Although designed for an ELA classroom, it can easily be used in History (with such movies as the DaVini Code, America's Heart and Soul), Math (Moneyball, Little Man Tate, or October Sky), Science (Lorenzo's Oil, Robot and Frank, Microcosmos), or of course ELA (I use it with Beowulf, Wall-E, or Wasteland--a documentary that works well with art).
With this project you can show a movie and provide an actual educational experience. You can also teach a skill that will be helpful in college and beyond.