Friday, April 18, 2008

Fun Student Assignments

Recently, we heard from an English teacher at a middle school who was using the animated classic literature movies in an ingenious way to teach her kids.

First, she would have her class watch one of the Adam Smith Academy illustrated movies. And, like most teachers that have used the site, she would follow it up with a class discussion of the story and quiz them on important points.

She then took it a step further, and asked them to become movie critics and review the movie, illustrations and narration. She did this specifically in order to elicit opinions on the illustrated style and narrated story-telling.

Then, she would assign another reading assignment, and have the students storyboard it themselves. This is where it got interesting. According to her, every child became a director. They literally attacked the assignment, each student looking to out-do and one-up their classroom competition. They poured over the reading material, finding their own important points and created elaborate Hollywood movies out it.

To quote the email we received, "Not only did the students come to class eager to share their vision of what a movie based on the story should look like, but they got into very heated discussions as to what was relevant and what wasn't in critiquing other student's ideas. It was like the class had become their own production company, and every student his or her own Spielberg. It was amazing! At the end of class, students were asking what new story they would be doing. I couldn't believe it."

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