Students learn how to be movie critics

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Academics, Beyond Texbooks, Enrichment

By Maddie Chilson
Cougar News Blog

     Since the media plays such an influential role in everyone’s life, students might as well have fun with it. Which is exactly what Cactus Canyon students will be doing. Ms. Tammy Howard wanted to host her own movie critiquing class for study skills because she wants kids to see positive and negative messages that run rampant in the world’s media.
     Since students have returned from winter break, on Jan. 5, Ms. Howard’s study skills class has been learning the techniques on how to notice the littlest of mistakes in any movie.
     “They can be more critical users of the media,” said Howard.
     The first movie the class has watched was Angels in the Outfield, the 1994 movie starring Danny Glover and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Ms. Howard had the students discuss the mistakes they spotted and was very impressed with the amount of errors they had found.
     One of the most common mistakes found has been sound effects. The next movie the class is going to go over is an old “B” movie written and directed by Ed Wood. The students are to answer five questions about the movie to earn their participation points for the class.
     “I figured this is a great way to get the students engaged in learning how to become a film critic,” said Howard.
     Students are already talking about how this class in teaching them how to be a critic.
     “I feel that I can watch any movie and find the mistakes in them,” said eighth grader, Lucia Kimble.
     In the future Ms. Howard plans on showing Journey to the Center of the Earth, Zathura, War of the Worlds, and Kit Kittredge An American Girl. She also plans to show students informational documentaries.
     “It’s interesting getting to watch movies, pick them apart, and see the mistakes directors make,” said Kimble. “It’s fun.”

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