Fifty Film Guides to use at Home

25 Mar 2020

4 mins
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation continues across the UK, we recognise that many schools will be closed, and many parents will be looking for ways to keep their children meaningfully occupied outside of school time.

Many of our film guides - which are designed as informal discussion prompts for after viewing a film - also feature extension activities that children and young people can take part in on their own, without the need for constant supervision. Below, we've collected 50 film guides with extension activities to help keep young people of all ages engaged. If you're new to Into Film, you'll need to sign up for a free account and log in to download the resources.

Many of the films are titles we believe people are likely to own on DVD, but where possible, we'll also point out some that are currently available to view on streaming services.

Note: The information about films on streaming services is aimed at people at home only, and not for any film clubs still running in schools. Licencing conditions do not permit the access of streaming platforms from a school setting.

Review 100

To help young people continue to practise and develop their literacy skills while many schools are closed, we're running a new Review 100 competition on our social media channels, encouraging young people to write a review of any film they watch in 100 words or less for the chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher.

And for those that want to say more than 100 words can convey in their reviews, remember - club members can also still log in and post their reviews on the Into Film website, where our ongoing Review of the Week competition continues as normal.

Film Guides for Ages 5-7

These film guides are appropriate for young people aged 5-7. You can download the full film guides for further discussion points and activities.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Take an animal from this film and list all the characteristics that the animals are known for. What secret life would this animal lead? You can write these down or draw pictures to show what they get up to when there are no owners around.

Toy Story 4

Currently Available on: Now TV, Disney+

Think of a simple, everyday object which you could turn into a toy. It could be a household item like Forky, an object found in nature, or something else entirely. Draw and name your character. Which Toy Story character would they be best friends with and why?

Kiki's Delivery Service

Currently available on: Netflix

Draw a picture of yourself and label it with all your talents and skills. Swap your drawing with a partner to see if they can add any ideas of things that you are good at, then write down ways you could use these talents to help other people.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Imagine you are Charlie and you have inherited the chocolate factory at the end of the film. What are the first things you would do? Which parts of the factory would you change and what would you want to keep? Who would you hand the factory over to when the time came and why?

Ferdinand

Currently available on: Disney+

Draw your ideal farm. What animals would you have there? Would you need any machines to grow and pick vegetables and fruit? Where would the animals sleep or roam throughout the day?

Oddball and the Penguins

What is a ‘sanctuary' for animals? See if you can find out. Have you ever visited one? What would you include in your perfect sanctuary for the Little Penguins? Design a sanctuary for a pet at home, or for feeding birds or attracting bees.

Sing

Design, draw and label your own Sing character. What animal would they be? How would they dress? What instrument would they play? Which song would they sing?

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Currently available on: Amazon Prime

Watch the Into Film behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the Shaun the Sheep Movie. Use the clips and PowerPoint to find out more about what makes a great story.

The Wizard of Oz

Write a letter to a friend or family member describing Dorothy's adventures throughout the film. Think about the characters she met on her journey. How would you describe them? What did the different locations look like? How did the story develop?

Inside Out

Currently available on: Now TV, Sky Go, Disney+

The filmmakers designed characters around shapes we might associate with the emotions, for example Sadness looks like a teardrop. Think of an emotion or feeling that is not in the film, such as trust, surprise or boredom, and create your own character for them. What would they look like? How would they interact with the other characters?

Film Guides for Ages 7-11

These film guides are appropriate for young people aged 7-11. You can download the full film guides for further discussion points and activities.

Song of the Sea

Draw your own mythical creature for you to turn into - what special powers would you have when you turned into it? What animal would it be similar to? Like Saoirse and the shell, what object or instrument would you use to turn you into your creature?

Peter Rabbit

Currently available on: Netflix

Design a garden that would be welcoming to other animals. Where would you build your garden? In the countryside or in the city? What fruits and vegetables would you like to grow there? Would you have any special places for animals to rest and play in?

Moana

Currently available on: Disney+ 

Moana is a girl who follows her dreams and sails across the seas. What are your dreams? Think about what you want to be when you grow up and where you'd like to travel to. Draw a picture which represents your future self.

Coco

Currently available on: Now TV, Disney+

Draw a picture, write a song, or create a short story or poem to acknowledge somebody in your family or someone else close to you. Be sure to include what you like best about them and some of their most distinctive characteristics. Also think about if there is a particular place or location that you associate with them, and try to incorporate that into your work.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Currently available on: Disney+

Imagine you're Belle, locked away in the tower and separated from your father, without having had a chance to say goodbye. Write a letter to him. What do you think Belle would want to say to him in that situation?

Spirited Away

Currently available on: Netflix

Inspired by the animation in the film, design a spirit world version of yourself as though you were one of the guests at Yubaba's bath house. Would you look like an animal, or be inspired by other elements in nature? Would you wear traditional Japanese clothing? What special powers might you have? Don't forget to give yourself a new spirit world name.

April and the Extraordinary World

In the film, the environment on Earth has become so bad that an alternative plan has been developed to start again in space. If you had to start a new life on another planet, what plants and animals would you bring with you? Would there be anything from Earth that you'd leave behind?

Zootropolis

Currently available on: Disney+ 

Research an animal of your choice and design your own ‘Missing Person' poster for one of the characters in the film (or make up one of your own!). Be sure to include a picture of them, as well as a description of their physical characteristics and personality.

The Sound of Music

Currently available on: Disney+

During the thunder and lightning, Maria sings the song My Favourite Things. Can you remember what her favourite things were? Pick one of your favourite things that make you feel better when you're scared and draw a picture of it.

Into the Woods

Currently available on: Disney+ 

Imagine you had to introduce another classic fairy tale character into the film, such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or Alice in Wonderland. What might their storyline be? Try drawing storyboards for their first scene in the woods with one of the other characters.

Film Guides for Ages 11-14

These film guides are appropriate for young people aged 11-14. You can download the full film guides for further discussion points and activities.

La La Land

Currently available on: Netflix

Research the influences on La La Land by reading our article on the film's links to the history or musical cinema: La La Land and the History of the Screen Musical

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Currently available on: Netflix

Design your own video game avatar. What weapons, abilities, strengths and weaknesses would you give them? They can be a reflection of you or completely different. What physical, mental and emotional attributes do you think are most crucial to survive in a jungle video game environment?

Sully

The film is adapted from Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's autobiography, Highest Duty. If you could write your own autobiography, what would it be called? Which actor would you want to play you in the story of your life and why?

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Design a new, fearsome villain for Spider-Man to goup against. What would they look like? What would their motivations be? Whywould Spider-Man be the best person to defeat them?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Design your own magical creature! Think about what they would look like, how tall they would be and how they would interact with Newt and the other Fantastic Beasts. Would they be well-behaved or naughty?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Inspired by the film, compose a haiku or make a drawing that illustrates a memorable period or adventure in your life, or that pays tribute to somebody important to you.

Life of Pi

Plot Pi's journey in the lifeboat on a map. Once you have sketched the physical route he takes, mark the narrative events in the order they take place and locations you think they have happened in. Add extracts from Pi's log to describe each of these events.

Hidden Figures

Conduct research into either the history of the Space Race or the Civil Rights Movement and plot a timeline of significant events throughout the years. Can you find any other ‘hidden figures' that deserve to have their story told? What were their achievements?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Currently available on: Disney+

Design your own character, droid or spaceship to fit into the Star Wars universe. What would be their function? Would they be a force for good, or evil, or something more complicated? Create a storyboard for a scene featuring your creation in one of the films.

Battle of the Sexes

Research issues around equal pay for men and women today in sports, in the film industry, and in the wider workplace. Where are there still disparities, and why do you think this is? What might be done to help overcome it?

Film Guides for Ages 14-16

These film guides are appropriate for young people aged 14-16. You can download the full film guides for further discussion points and activities.

Interstellar

Ask young people to imagine they really did have to relocate their lives to another planet. Ask them to come up with a list of 10 objects they would bring with them from Earth. They can be practical, sentimental, or a mixture of the two. Ask them to explain their choices.

Girlhood

Imagine you're making a film about you and your friends; other than the story, what would you need to include to capture your personalities and friendships? Choose a location, soundtrack, costumes and props for a scene in your film and explain how your choices help the audience build an accurate impression of your friend group.

Spotlight

Currently available on: Netflix

Why do you think that the filmmaker chose to make a drama film rather than a documentary on the scandal? List the possible reasons for and against telling real life stories in both formats.

Moonlight

What does the future hold for Chiron? As a piece of creative writing, write the next chapter in his life, set a few years after the film concludes. How has he changed? What are his relationships like with those around him?

The Edge of Seventeen

The film's ending is somewhat inconclusive. What do you think happens next? Write, draw or film the next few scenes in Nadine's life. Think about how the relationships progress with her mother and brother, as well as with Mr. Bruner, Krista and Erwin.

Dunkirk

Currently available on: Netflix

How did 'Operation Dynamo' set the tone for the rest of the war? Why was it seen as a turning point and a kind of victory in defeat? Research and discuss this, before writing a newspaper article detailing events from a British perspective.

Love, Simon

Read or research the original novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by author Becky Albertalli. Many elements have been retained by the film, but significant changes have also been made. Write a report on their similarities and differences, arguing your case for whether or not this was a good adaptation for the screen.

Room

Currently available on: Amazon Prime

Choose your favourite novel that has yet to be adapted for the big screen. What would you change? Can you think of any challenges in making the story visual? Who would you cast in the leading roles and why?

Brooklyn

Watch the beach scenes at Coney Island (00:53:46- 00:54:58) and Enniscorthy (01:16:50 -01:18:00). As you watch, make notes on the colour, music and people and landscape in each scene. Use these to write a comparison of the appeal of both places.

Good Vibrations

Research a musical era of your choice. What features define the scene and why? Think about the contributing issues of the day, such as fashion, arts and politics. Write about the scene - including the genre and style of music - and present your findings.

Film Guides for Ages 16+

These film guides are appropriate for young people aged 16+. You can download the full film guides for further discussion points and activities.

Mustang

Currently available on: MUBI (until 7 April 2020)

In the film, the girls are forced to use their imaginations to recreate within the house the outdoor activities they might otherwise be enjoying. Inspired by this, think about an activity you would miss if you were unable to take part in it, and film a group of you acting it out indoors.

Victoria

Victoria is shot in one take. Plot a situation that takes a dramatic turn and see if you can capture it on film in one long take. Check out our Looking at the Long Take resource for examples from other films and guidance on creating your own long take.

Psycho

Currently available on: Now TV

Do you think Psycho holds the same impact for audiences today as it did in 1960? Do we still find it shocking, even though issues around censorship and violence have changed? What do you think the reception would be like if it were released today?

Moon

Write a piece of short fiction or create a short film based on the idea of doppelgängers. The doppelgänger can be the double of yourself, somebody you know, or somebody entirely fictional.

Pressure

Currently available on: BFI Player

Interview someone who has memories of life in Britain in the 1970s. What do they remember about the fashion, food and music? What kinds of things were in the news? What celebrations and/or protests might they have participated in? Check out the BFI's Britain on Film Archive and see if you can find footage of any events they mention, or film of your neighbourhood captured from that time.

Tangerine

Research an LGBTQ+ icon of your choice and present a one-page report on them. Why were they a significant figure in history?

Nightcrawler

Currently available on: Amazon Prime

Research some journalistic ethical codes. Do you think filmmakers should aim to adhere to an ethical code? Draw up a list of ethical standards filmmakers should adhere to. Discuss the problems that could arise from imposing moral guidance on art.

The Falling

Currently available on: Amazon Prime 

This film has a predominately female cast and crew; do you think this is evident when watching the film? Research women in the film industry and put together an all-female crew for a fictional film.

The Wolfpack

Currently available on: Amazon Prime

Research the real story of the Angulo family what are the diferences between the true story and the documentary? Why do you think there are diferences? How does this afect your assessment of the documentary?

Just Jim

Jim's friendship with Dean can be seen as a sort of Faustian pact. Research what this means - do you know of any other films that contain this plot device? Film a scene about a character entering into their own Faustian pact.

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