Hello and happy Saturday. Are you the kind of teacher who likes including movies when you’re planning a unit? If you’re not, then maybe reading this post will change your mind. Either way, these recommendations might be helpful for you at some point. What I’m going to do is list the movies and documentaries I watched with my high school students and tell you how I used them in class. All of them can be found on Netflix. Let’s get started, shall we?
Living On One Dollar
I think documentaries like this one are a great opportunity to start discussions in your classroom, so I did come up with a series of questions for my students to answer. I graded speaking through this activity. Obviously, if you have more time, or if you’re discussing social or economic issues, this is a great documentary.
With ninth grade we were working on social and environmental issues, and I wasn’t sure what they’d think or say about me playing The Lorax to them. Well, they loved it. I have always taught English as a Second Language, which means that my students are not all fluent in English and they still have a hard time when movies don’t have subtitles, so I feel that this was challenging enough for them, but they could still understand most of what was being said. I think that through this movie my students were able to apply the vocabulary we had already worked on while making comparisons with the real world. After watching the movie, they developed a guide that I adapted from different activities I saw on Pinterest. If your students are younger, I’m sure there’s a lot you can find that is ready to download.
Live and Let Live
I did sort of push my vegetarian agenda into my students and I’m not sorry. No, but honestly, I feel like the impact on the environment that comes from eating animals is rarely mentioned and I wanted to include it in our Social and Environmental Issues unit. For this activity they had to take notes throughout the documentary and then complete a chart with information of each of the people interviewed. I wanted them to write who the person was, what they did, why they’d become a vegan and what their thoughts on veganism were.
Health for Sale
For tenth grade our topics were Hobbies, Health, and Wellness or something like that. The documentary Health for Sale was actually suggested by another teacher who was in charge of planning for tenth grade. I watched the documentary beforehand and came up with some comprehension questions. Then, while my students watched I asked them to take notes and to pick five questions from the list of around thirty that I’d proposed and answer them. I have to check this product and see if it’s ready for TpT, and as soon as it is, I’ll let you know.
The Magic Pill
This documentary was proposed by me for tenth grade, and more that talking about a specific kind of diet, I wanted my students to see how what you eat can affect your brain and your health so much, but also how some disorders like those from the autistic spectrum can be “treated” using natural methods. I wanted to work on listening skills because after the Health for Sale activity I realized that my students were lacking comprehension, so I wanted to take a step back. The idea with this was for my students to watch the documentary and answer a series of brief questions as they watched, so it was more like a guided note-taking activity. I will put this activity on TpT, but I don’t have a definitive date yet, so be patient on that one.
Which movies/documentaries would you play or have you played in class? Let me know in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila