Archive for the ‘Wednesday Movies’ Category

How to use a movie for dictation practice

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Movies and dictation

Today’s post is from the February 5th FREE Daily Writing Tip:

Use a favorite scene from a well-loved film for writing dialog from dictation. You should have kids who are already skilled in copywork of dialog first.

Then, try it like this:

  1. Load the DVD.
  2. Cue it up for the dialog scene (no more than 2 speakers, only back and forth 4-5 times).
  3. Go over basic punctuation conventions for dialog (remind kids how to use quotation marks, that periods and question marks go inside the quotes, that each new speaker starts on a new line, indented, etc.).
  4. Play the scene through.
  5. Then play it a bit at a time, pausing as your children write. Do this for as long as it takes.
  6. Finally, play the scene all the way through, while the child compares their work to what they hear, making adjustments.

You will be the one to correct the finished product, but do it alongside the child in conversation – “Good job here. I think you need an apostrophe for the possessive here. Oops! Changed speakers. What do you do? That’s right. Indent, new line.”

Have fun!

Image by Francis Bijl (cc cropped, tinted, text added)

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Movie Wednesday: James and the Giant Peach

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

007

Our family recently started the Brave Writer lifestyle, and we’re all enjoying our new routine. My daughter, 10, is using The Arrow for James and the Giant Peach. My son, 7, was interested in the book, too, so we did it as a read-aloud.

Today, as a conclusion to the study, we watched the movie version on Netflix. We had a good discussion afterward, centering on how different the movie was from the book. The movie started off pretty accurately, but as soon as Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge didn’t get squished, they noticed a lot of differences.

My daughter enjoyed the book more, as the personalities of the bugs were more developed, there was a lot more detail, and it made more sense. My son liked the movie version – he liked seeing what we read about and didn’t seem to mind that it didn’t match up.

This was a good exercise for them to watch the movie version of a book they’d just read (or listened to). We talked about how movies can’t include everything in a book and why they might want to change some things.

They can’t wait to tell Daddy about it!

With joy, Andrea

Image (cc)

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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The Homeschool Alliance this month: Movies!

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

HSA Feb_blog

The Homeschool Alliance is in full swing! We’ve got archives of materials all the way back to September. Families in the Alliance are saying that it is transforming how they understand their homeschools. Peace and progress result.

February is going to be especially wonderful! In addition to the reading material (about developing thinkers), I’ll be giving you weekly activities to do with your kids that will help you take the usual subject areas and turn them into vehicles for all that cognitive growth.

We’ll discuss your families and their specific dynamics, too, to help you get beyond the tedium of curricula and the foot-dragging of mid year school work.

In addition, our one-thing practice is all about film! Members will receive (for free) the Brave Writer Goes to the Movies Guide in addition to some guidance and discussion about how film can enhance your home education experience.

I give all kinds of personal feedback too. So if you’re stuck or worried or despairing, I’m there to be your personal coach! Ask any question, and I’ll do my best to get you back to your happy whole self!

All this for under $25.00/mth. Quit any time!

Sign up now!

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What do we talk about AFTER the movie?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Family watching a movie

Have you ever experienced this? You added a regular movie night to your Brave Writer Lifestyle. You carefully selected a quality film you believed your child would enjoy. The credits have rolled, and the conversation goes something like this:

“What did you think?”
“I liked it.”
“What are your thoughts about the main character?”
“I liked her.”
“Did you have a favorite part?
“I don’t know. Could I play Minecraft now?”

The exchange feels stilted and forced. Instead of a Big Juicy Conversation, your child wants to bolt. Next time, keep the following tips in mind.

7 Ways to Encourage Natural, Lively Film Discussion

1. Lead the way. If you get, “I don’t know,” for an answer then share your reactions. “It made me angry when…” “I had no idea that X would happen…” “Were you as shocked as I was that Y didn’t win?”

2. Be specific. “What did you think?” is so open that some children aren’t able to pin down reasons. Instead try, “What surprised you the most?” and “Could you predict the ending? How did you know?!”

3. Dig Deeper. When your child responds with a general, “I liked it,” you might say, “That’s cool. What did you like about it? The story? The songs? The animation? I liked…”

4. Ask probing questions. “If a psychologist looked at the actions of Z what do you think he or she would say?”

5. Encourage connection. “Do you relate to anyone in the movie, or do any of the characters remind you of someone you know? And, if so, how are they alike?”

6. Seize the moment for retelling. Oral narrations can feel stiff and artificial when asked for. However, if the child is retelling to someone who hasn’t seen the movie, then the retelling springs from a natural place of wanting to share. So let’s say you watched a movie in the afternoon, when the non-homeschooling parent arrives home, ask over dinner, “We watched a great movie today. Who wants to tell Daddy or Mommy about it?”

7. Don’t push it. Sometimes the best conversations happen a day or two later! Not everyone is prepared to discuss a film the moment the credits roll! Wait for the drive to the dentist or while giving baths. Bring it up in light conversation and through memories of the film and see how it goes them.

The Bottom Line

Even without a discussion, movie viewing is valuable to your kids as a means of teaching them the structure of plot, characterization, setting, mood, theme, and more. Over time, these are all “going in” and you will find that your children will draw on those memories of movie-viewing to help them as they explore literary analysis in high school and beyond.

Image by Personal Creations (cc cropped and text added)

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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Movie Wednesday: Student films

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Resources for Young Filmmakers

For an upcoming Movie Night, instead of popping in a DVD or watching an instant flick on Netflix, you might enjoy a motion picture your child has filmed!

If any of your kids show an interest in making movies then here are some helpful websites* that contain a multitude of resources for future Oscar winners:

Resources for Young Filmmakers is by the Portland Children’s Film Festival and shares a ton of links. They cover the basics, filming and editing techniques, sources for royalty free music and sound effects, and more!

Children’s Guide to Filmmaking is a free 21-page downloadable pdf from Far Out Films, a group of “award-winning volunteer film makers, based in Melbourne, Australia.” It’s a step-by-step guide to making a first film.

How to Master the Structure of Script Writing by Nick Zurko gives introductory advice. The article is part of the New York Film Academy’s Student Resources section which is filled with how-to guides.

Ten Tips For Beginning Filmmakers is an informative YouTube video by DSLRFilmSchool.

If you have younger kids who aren’t quite ready for breakable equipment: Low Tech Cardboard TV project!

For inspiration, here’s an under two minutes film by G (a homeschooled teen) called, “A Short Snow Drama.” Be sure to watch till the end! And read more about how the movie was made on the blog, Almost Unschoolers.

Also, check out Brave Writer’s online Movie Discussion Club. It’s perfect for budding cinephiles! The next class starts February 2nd. Register now!

*Please note: Brave Writer does not necessarily endorse all of the websites’ views or associations

Image © Gunold Brunbauer | Dreamstime.com

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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Movie Wednesday: Watch a film adaptation

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Babysitting

In Reading the Movies, William Costanzo notes that it has been estimated that a third of all films ever made were adapted from novels. If you count other literary forms, such as drama or short stories, that estimate might well be 65 percent or more. Nearly all of the classic works students study in high school have been adapted for film, some several times in several different eras. —From PBS’s Adaption from Novel to Film

It can be fascinating to see favorite characters from a book spring to life on screen. Whether we like the adaptation or not, it can give us insights into the story that we didn’t see before.

Here’s a helpful list of children’s books that have been made into films. After you’ve read the book and watched the movie adaptation, you might discuss:

What were the similarities and differences between the book and the film?

Did the cast fit the characters in the book?

If you’d been the director, what changes would you have made?

Were there scenes in the movie that were better than in the book?

Imagine that the author and the screenwriter met for dinner. What might they say to each other?

Happy adaptation watching!

Also, this winter we are offering a twofer movie club!

  • Four movies about Brave Girls, four about Gutsy Boys (and a number of titles are adaptations!)
  • Two movie clubs united by their intrepid protagonists.
  • Sign up for one or…
  • Join both clubs and save!

Click here for more information about our upcoming Movie Discussion Club!

Image by Emily Hildebrand (cc cropped)

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a FREE copy!

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Movie Time: Support Rudolph Night

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Movie Wednesday Katelyn 1

Our family has movie night every Friday. We use our air popper to make classic movie popcorn. As soon as the kids smell and hear the popper roar to life they come from all corners of the house to help position the bowls right underneath the air popper machine. We then take our popcorn and chocolate milks and get cozy on the couch.

Last December we watched the 1964 stop action cartoon- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. To make it really special I purchased reindeer antlers and red noses at the local dollar store for us to wear during the movie. I called it “Support Rudolph Night.”

Movie Wednesday Katelyn 2

Before and after the film, we discussed bullying. Rudolph in the film is bullied by being repeatably ignored, ridiculed, ostracized, and forced to hide who he is, all because of his unique red nose. Hermey and the toys on the Island of Misfit Toys in the film also feel ostracized.

Later on during the story, the very traits that the characters were bullied for end up saving the day. We discussed what to do if someone is bullying you, how to celebrate and accept the uniqueness of others rather than teasing them, how mean words really hurt, and how you could stand up and be an ally for someone else being bullied.

I was also ready to launch into a discussion on how stop action filming works but my kids were not interested this year. I’ll save that for next time.

~Katelyn

Images (cc)

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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Movie Wednesday: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-lampost-covered-snow-image37729324

We watched the 2005 (Adam Adamson directed) release of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with some friends as part of a birthday celebration. The kids who watched are 16, 14, 13, two 9 year olds and a 4 year old. It was a repeat for the older kids but the first time for the younger ones.

It was fun to listen to the discussions between the kids about the imagery and symbolism.  Throughout the movie and after, the younger kids would ask questions like:

How is the wardrobe the entrance to Narnia?
How did the tree get on the door?
Who is the snow queen?
Why didn’t Aslan fight her, he’s a lion after all?

It was a running and continuous conversation! The older kids would respond, surprisingly patiently, with answers often referencing the books. They said more than once that the books are always better. That melted my heart!

Angela

Image © Izanbar | Dreamstime.com

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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Make movie night a hit!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Movie night invitation

6 Fun Ideas to Turn Your Home into a Mini-Movie Theater!

Invitations

Design an invitation like the one in the photo above, or check out how Meg (who blogs at whatever…) did it using a simple poster board taped to their bedroom door.

Movie Night Passes

Here are some nifty movie passes you can print by Jamey at Dabbles and Babbles.

Concession Stand Tickets

Cheryl at moms & munchkins shares printable concession stand tickets and has a cool idea for how to use them:

At the beginning of the week, you could let your kids know that there will be a family movie night happening this week. They will have the opportunity to win tickets for the concession stand. How do they win the tickets? That’s up to you! Some ideas are to earn tickets by doing something kind for someone else, tickets for an accomplishment (in school, in sports, etc.), etc.

Homemade Drive-In Theater Cars

Make adorable cardboard cars for kids to sit in while watching a flick. Stacy at Not Just a Housewife shows you how.

Party Popcorn

This candy popcorn recipe sounds delish! All you need: popcorn, melted white candy melts, and sprinkles. From Amy’s at she wears many hats.

Review Cards

Afterwards, when the lights go up, your kids might fill out review cards like these (which encourages writing!):

Movie review card

Enjoy!

 

Also, our next online Movie Discussion Club (kids and parents can participate!) starts October 27th. Sign up today! The theme: Robots!

Images by Personal Creations (cc)

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide, Brave Writer Goes to the Movies. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

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Movie Wednesday: Enjoy it with loved ones!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Smitten

Watch a film today with your kids!

Movies are just as important as the novel was in its hey-day. Movies are not a sub-standard art form that only the poorly educated enjoy. On the contrary, film today is just as important as literature and we would do well to enjoy it and study it, rather than to shun, condescend to and disapprove of it.  —from Brave Writer Goes to the Movies

Need help commenting meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing? Check out our eleven page guide. Also, tell us about a film you and your kids watched together (along with a pic if you have one) and if we share it on the blog you’ll receive a free copy!

Image of WALL-E figures by Morgan (cc cropped)

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