Comparing and Contrasting the book and films of Willy Wonka

Learning Intention / Overview

This activity will allow students to develop an understanding of how the Venn Diagram can help organize events and other story elements by comparing and contrasting.  Students will discuss comparing and contrasting

Methods / Teaching Strategies

  •  Discussion
  •  Modeling
  •  Graphic Organizer


Assessment of Learning

·         Class Discussion

·         Venn Diagram completion

Click here to download the free lesson plan

Terrible math lessons Hollywood is teaching our kids

The two videos below take a look at the gross mathematical errors that are found in some of our biggest Hollywood Blockbusters. 

They might prove as a great starting point to a lesson by watching some of the sequences and then working through them as a class just to highlight how inaccurate some of these are.

If you know of any other great movies please let us know.


Teach with Movies

With the Oscars done and dusted for 2012 it would be fair to say that this year has been a bit of a disappointment for the film industry which could well be a reflection of the current economic climate.

Luckily there have been hundreds of amazing films made that are just as good a text for your students as any of the great written texts of all time. if you don't use film in the classroom to engage your students then you are missing out on a major cultural hook.

Teach with Movies is a paid site but at $11.99 per year for a school I am happy to give this the edgalaxy tick of value as it houses over 350 learning guides for some of the best films ever made. 

These guides cover a range of learning areas but all have excellent content for literature. 

Take a look at teach with movies and take a deeper look at some of their great films that will both inspire and educate your students to learn again.

A Brilliant Portal for Budding Filmmakers

ACMI - or the Australian Centre for the Moving Image has just created a new portal for teachers and students to learn about and find resources about film making. 

Generator has downloadable audio and video that you can use in your own video production - a stroyboard generator to help get your ideas froim paper to silver screen and loads of tutorials and expert advice from accomplished film makers from around the world.

The royalty free video and audio is great enough on it's own but if you teach media there is also a whole collection of resources that show you how to incorporate film into your classroom. 

Check out GENERATOR here.

Top 10 Inspirational movies for Teachers and Students

With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor today there has been clips from some of the biggest movies of all time across the media and this got me thinking about the greatest movies that are out there to inspire teachers and students.

The first list comes from the undisputed bible of all things film, TV and Cinema, IMDB


Stand and Deliver (1988)
A dedicated teacher inspires his dropout prone students to learn calculus to build up their self-esteem and do so well that they are accused of cheating. (103 mins.)
Director: Ramon Menendez
“ never believe that students are unable to learn. Instead of teaching to the lowest common denominator, Edward James Olmos in a true story as Jaime Escalante sets his sights much higher, getting them to pass the AP Calculus exam. Excellent, enjoyable choice. ” - ejazasi
Dangerous Minds (1995)
An ex-marine teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city schools. (99 mins.)
Director: John N. Smith
“ Michelle Pfeiffer is excellent as real-life former marine Louanne Johnson. ” - ejazasi
Lean on Me (1989)
The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school that he is determined to improve. (108 mins.)
“ I wish if more Principals stressed the importance of discipline and learning in their schools as he did. This film shows the importance of having strong leadership at the top. ” - ejazasi
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. (143 mins.)
Director: Stephen Herek
“ This memorable movie gives all teachers hope that they truly have an impact on their students. Richard Dreyfuss is wonderful as a musician/composer who must take a teaching job to support his family. ” - ejazasi
Dead Poets Society (1989)
English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. (128 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ The central message of the movie, to live life to the fullest everyday, is not lost. Further, Williams' poetry recitations are awe-inspiring. ” - ejazasi
The Miracle Worker (1962)
The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate. (106 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Very few people can watch the famous 'water' scene without experiencing a feeling of triumph and relief. ” - ejazasi
Music of the Heart (1999)
Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids. (124 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
“ This film shows the influence that one person's drive and vision can have on others. ” - ejazasi




Here are a couple more  to take a look at

Top 10 Inspirational movies for teachers and students

Rama's Screen Top 10


Be sure to let us know what we missed on these lists.


Digital Literacy lesson - Create your own movie Trailers

This lesson examines how Hollywood film studios use a range of persuasive strategies when creating a movie trailer to try and entice the audience to cinemas to see their latest blockbuster or in some cases raspberry.  Students will explore these elements in detail and then create a film trailer of their own that includes them.  You can either download the lesson as a PowerPoint here or simply use the slideshare below.  Enjoy.

Detailed Lesson Plans to accompany hundreds of films.

Awesome Stories contains a great deal of educational content related to all areas of the curriculum and is definitely worth a browse to find something that floats your boat. 

What impressed me about Awesome Stories was the lesson plan section which had detailed and insightful lesson plans on hundreds of films.  These are great resources for those interested in visual literacies and films are added frequently for all age groups and audiences.  Here is a look at Inglorious Basterds.

Next tme you intend to watch a film with your students be sure to check out awesome stories.

Start your own TV Studio at School Series

This year our school has increasingly used film in the classroom to create some pretty impressive and amazing learning experiences that have proven winners with students, staff and parents. 

Film is as easy and cost effective as it has ever been and you should really be looking at film as an excellent platform to support your curriculum program across all year levels if you are not doing so all ready.

This is a a pretty massive area to cover so I am going to cover the areas below with at least one section addressed weekly as a minimum.  Obviouslly I will still be posting regular news and ideas on top of this also.

1:  Start with the end in mind - Linking curriculum to Film Creation.

2:  The Right Tools for the Job - What to buy and what to avoid wasting money on.

3:  Editing, Publishing and Sharing:  How to churn out a film Spielberg would be proud of and sharing it with your intended audience.

4:  The Green Screen:  What can you do with a Green Screen and how to use it.

5:  Going Further:  What are some outlets for your budding film makers and what can they do next.

Stay tuned to this channel - subscribe to our RSS feed if you want to keep updates and if there is anything else you would like to have added or have any feedback I'd love to hear it.