filmLet’s go back in time for a moment: what do you remember from your days at school? Do you vividly recall all those classes that meant listening to the teacher who was giving a boring lecture? That’s hardly the case. Do you remember informal classes? Sometimes the teachers allowed you to discuss different topics and ask any question, give presentations, or sing pop songs in the classroom. Sometimes they even brought the TV set in the classroom, and you all watched a TV show or a movie, which you then discussed.

Those are the days of education that remain in our memory; the informal ones. To everyone’s joy, the modern education is practically based on those informal methods of teaching. No more lecturing; it’s all about communicating and bonding with the students.

Informal education can be defined as a spontaneous process of helping people to learn. Instead of teaching through lecturing, you are helping your students to cultivate knowledge and discover their interests in different things. That can be done through different activities in and outside the classroom: conversations, activities of exploring the environment, gathering sources of knowledge from the Internet, involvement in youth and community organizations, and many other undertakings that inspire the students to respond to the information they receive.

Movie Club Lessons – The Type of Bonding Your Students Will Love!

Informal education goes hand in hand with bonding. If you want to engage your students in different learning activities, you’ll have to pay attention to each and every one of them. You need to know about their interests, qualities, strengths, and weaknesses. Then, you can come up with activities that are suitable for them as a group. You can bond with your students if you organize different class events, such as elections, lotteries, or quizzes. Each of these events should involve discussions, informal communication, and fun! When you combine all those aspects with education, you get a winning combination.

film2Organizing fun movie club lessons for your student is a great idea! How exactly can you do that?

  • Pick a good movie, which is appropriate for their age. Make sure the movie inspires a discussion. For example, The Jungle Book (2016) is a movie for both children and grownups. It raises many questions about laws, morals, friendships, and connections between the species. Where’s the man in all that? Why does fire make man so powerful?
  • If you are dealing with a group of older students (in high school or college), you can assign the classics. Ask them to see one of Tarkovsky’s movies, and you can rest assured you’ll trigger exciting discussions. Some will love it, others will hate it. It will be great to see opposing opinions and arguments about the form and meaning of such a movie. As you can see, movie club lessons are suitable for students of any age. That’s what makes this type of informal education so great; it’s universal.
  • Watching the movie in the classroom is the best solution. You will make sure every single student goes through the entire movie. This may take few classes, but the results will be great.
  • If you don’t have enough time to watch a movie and discuss it in the classroom, flip your classroom and assign it for homework. Make sure not to give any other homework, so your students will have enough time to watch it. Then, you can use the time in the classroom for productive discussion.
  • Plan the issues you’re going to discuss, but allow some space for flexibility. Maybe some of your students saw something you didn’t notice. Allow them to be analytical and thorough. They should be free to ask and say just about anything about the movie.
  • Ask your students how the movie made them feel. It’s very important for them to recognize and express the emotional reaction they have to movies and all other artistic stimuli.
  • If you see that your students are really inspired after watching a particular movie, you can ask them to write a movie review. This is a chance for you to assign a writing project they will enjoy. However, it’s not okay to assign movie reviews for every single movie you discuss in the classroom. Too many papers will only stress them out, so make sure you keep the activities of this club enjoyable for them.
  • Create a blog for your movie club. You can share the most interesting discussions, as well as the reviews your students will write. You can use the blog to inspire discussions outside the classroom, so leave the comment section open. Your students can suggest other movies for watching and discussion, or share the impressions they didn’t get to express during the discussion in the classroom.

Benefits of Organizing Movie Club Lessons

First of all, a well-chosen movie offers you plenty of opportunities for immersion. Your goal as a teacher is to immerse the students in different activities. Most of all, you want to immerse them in learning. That’s exactly what a captivating and intriguing film offers. The students discover what inspires them. They can read online reviews to see how their own reviews compare with the impressions of other viewers. Then, they will get immersed in a discussion in the classroom.

  • Your students learn not only about movies as an industry, but as an art, too. They can pay attention to the visual aspects, the music, the characters, the act, the script, and every other aspect of a well-made movie. Then, you can discuss the commercial aspects as well. How much money did this movie make? Why was it so successful or unsuccessful among the audience?
  • Through movies, your students get immersed in different cultures. For example, if you’re teaching French, the French movie club will be an inexpensive replacement for field trips. The movies will present the culture to your students.
  • You can find a movie related to any lecture or course. If you’re teaching a history lesson about Roman Egypt, you can make it much clearer if you let them watch Agora (2009). A college professor who’s teaching a business course can ask the students to see and discuss The Social Network (2010), and compare it to the actual biography of Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Movies make students more active. They are actively engaged in the viewing experience, and then most of them get inspired to discuss their impressions. They consider other people’s points of view, and they often come to the realization that everyone in the classroom had a unique perception of the same movie. Thus, the students become aware of their individuality.

Informal education is an essential part of the modern studying process. These generations of students don’t want to sit quietly and listen to a lecture. They want to actively participate in the process. Organizing a fun movie club is a great method for bringing informal education into the classroom and creating a more meaningful bond with the students.

The bond – that’s the key to active and engaging teaching.

Jessica Freeman is a freelance content writer at Australian Writings. She enjoys writing about education, teaching, career, and success. Meet her on Facebook and Google+.