Watching movies with your children is a rare pleasure you can enjoy with
them at any age. As our society becomes more computer-centric, the importance
of visual literacy increases exponentially. Watching and discussing movies
with your children can help to expand their visual vocabulary and make
them think critically about the things they see not only in movies, but
in the media too.
Movies don’t only teach children about visual components, they also
teach them how to become effective story tellers. Children learn to communicate
their own stories by watching and listening to the stories of others.
There are many ways for you to have fun watching movies with your children
while teaching them too.
· Pick movies that are age appropriate and interesting for your
children to watch. This activity should be a fun family affair. Involve
your children in the selection of the movie or take turns watching each
other’s favourite picks. You can also choose the movie versions
of books they have read so that they are familiar with the story line.
There are many great classic movies to choose from. You can find the top
· Watch the movie from beginning to end and then discuss the story.
Ask your children to retell the story, or recount their favourite scenes.
Ask them to justify their selections. You can keep a movie book and rate
the movies on a scale from 1 to 5. Children can re-enact their favourite
scenes for you.
· Discuss themes, symbolism and messages that the film conveys.
Ask your children if they agree with the film’s message. Discuss
the morality of the principal characters and what their strengths and
flaws are. You can ask your children what mistakes the characters made
and what they would have done differently.
· Discuss lighting and color schemes. Nothing in film is accidental
and it’s important for children to be able to deconstruct a scene.
Ask them how the choice of lighting affected the mood or how the color
scheme was used to convey emotions.
· Talk about the soundtrack and how the music created an atmosphere
or tension during the film.
· Worksheets for various movies are available
Dissecting films helps children to start thinking critically about things
which they see on TV and in films. It also teaches them to think about
the underlying messages. Introducing them to classic movies is a great
way to teach them the wonderful history of cinema. Learning to tell their
own stories will make them effective and colourful communicators.