Fifty Film Guides to Use at Home
Curriculum-linked film guides that young people aged 5-16+ can use at home.
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation continues, closures have now impacted every school in the UK and so we're working to support teachers and parents in facilitating home learning.
Since September, your young people have been engaging with Film for Learning lessons, which use film to improve their literacy skills. Within these lessons are film literacy activities that can be used with any film. On this page you will find six activities for home use that require little guidance and have downloadable activity sheets that can be printed out or hand-copied onto paper.
Most learners will be familiar with this style of activity and will be able to engage with this work independently, with minimal support from teachers, parents, guardians or carers. For some children, this will present the opportunity to lead activities with siblings and others at home.
The 3Cs and 3Ss (Colour, Character, Camera; Sound, Setting and Story) is an easy to remember framework for film analysis. Using it encourages a range of literacy skills, such as comprehension, and speaking and listening, and can be used as a fun game when watching any film.
Print out and make the 3Cs and 3Ss dice or assign the 3Cs and 3Ss to the numbers on any six-sided dice (e.g. 1 = Story, 2 = Sound). Choose a film or short extract from a film to watch. Roll the dice and whichever C or S is rolled is the learner's focus when watching the film or extract. Use the 3Cs and 3Ss prompt card questions to support discussion around each area.
Different types of sound are present in film: dialogue (speaking), soundtrack (music), sound effects, or even silence. Sound on/vision off encourages learners to focus on what they hear and predict what might be happening on the screen, but there is no right or wrong answer.
Choose a film extract (approx. 1 minute long) from a film with interesting audio and no giveaway clues such as character names. Play the extract with the sound on and vision off (cover the screen or ask the learner to face away from it). Give learners the Sound on/vision off activity sheet. Let them know that they will listen to the extract again and this time they will identify four sounds. Play the audio extract at least two more times before learners complete the sheet or present their predictions orally. Ensure that pupils justify their predictions based on the sound evidence they have heard.
Role on the Wall is a fantastic activity for studying characters. Choose a short film extract, preferably one where a character is dealing with a conflict with another, e.g. Anna confronting Elsa in her ice palace in Frozen.
After watching the extract, ask learners to write how the character is feeling on the inside of the Role on the Wall figure, and around the outside write words and phrases about how they behave towards others. For example, on the inside Elsa is afraid she might hurt her sister and others, and on the outside she is mean and cold towards others.
Encourage learners to justify their comments with full sentences. If there is more than one learner, the other person can complete a Role on the Wall figure for the other character. When they are done, they can add colour and illustrations to their figures before sharing.
Note: All that's needed for this activity is a blank piece of paper
The Visual description activity requires two or more participants and is a great way for learners to develop their descriptive vocabulary. It requires one person (Person A) to describe a film still for another person, (Person B).
Person A chooses a visually interesting film scene to pause on, without letting Person B know what their choice is. Person B positions themselves facing away from the screen until the end of the activity. Person A describes the scene in as much detail as possible, while Person B draws the scene being described onto a blank piece of paper. The more time spent on describing and drawing the details, the better the outcome.
If there are more than 2 people participating, they can also take part as a person B. Once completed, the roles can then be switched over so that both participants can have a turn describing and drawing.
Axis of emotion is an activity that allows the learner to focus on a character's emotions throughout a film scene of your choice (e.g. the lion in The Wizard of Oz, from when he first meets Dorothy to when he's invited to see the Wizard). Learners can use the Axis of emotion print-out, or copy the simple graph onto paper to plot the character's emotions in the scene.
Along the time axis at the bottom, ask learners to add key moments in the scene (e.g. Lion frightens Dorothy and her friends, Dorothy hits Lion's nose, Lion cries, Dorothy invites the Lion to the Emerald City). Using the axis on the left as a guide, ask learners to plot how the character is feeling at these moments and write a sentence describing why the character feels the way they do.
Encourage learners to illustrate their Axis of emotion when it is done.
Whether watching shorts or feature length titles, writing a film review is a great opportunity for learners to develop their writing skills and express their opinions. This review writing frame provides a structure to do so with prompts to support learners. As an extension activity, learners can record their reviews as vox pops, using any device with a camera.
Young people can use the review writing frame above to enter our Review 100 competition over on our social channels. Simply encourage your young people to write a review of any film they watch in 100 words or less, then send us a photo of their review on Twitter or Facebook. Include the entrant's age, and please do not include any images of the entrant themselves. A winner will be announced every two weeks and will receive a £20 Amazon voucher - just remember to tag us in each post and use the hashtag #Review100.
Note: Due to safeguarding issues regarding young people on social media, entries may only be submitted by parents, carers, guardians or educators on behalf of young people.