Introduce Film Studies with Supa Modo

01 Jul 2022 BY Dan Cooper in Using Film to Teach...

3 mins
supa modo
supa modo

One of the truly wonderful things about film is its potential to expose audiences to worlds or cultures that otherwise, they would never get to experience. Alternatively, whether it's enjoying a genre we love,or returning for repeat viewings of an old favourite, cinema can also be enjoyed for its familiarity. Supa Modo marries these two disparate ideals perfectly, enabling audiences of any age to enjoy it, no matter how familiar with film they may or may not be.

Supa Modo takes elements from the superhero origin story, a genre that most young film fans are very familiar with and combines it with the powerful and personal tale of Jo, a young Kenyan girl whose experiences will be recognisable to younger viewers, yet aspects of her culture might not. The film's ability to connect with young viewers despite its distant origin is what makes it a perfect entry point for teachers wishing to introduce students to Film Studies as an area of the curriculum. Should learners wish to pursue Film Studies as a learning pathway, an appreciation for global film, away from the omnipresent Hollywood fare is key.

Supa Modo offers this opportunity for cultural and cinematic enrichment, whilst also borrowing elements from a popular genre that students understand. The Supa Modo: Search for the Superhero Inside Yourself resource is designed to introduce many of the foundational learning elements of Film and Media Studies, giving learners the necessary critical tools, academic language and enthusiasm to springboard their progress into Key Stage 3 and beyond. Each lesson in this learning sequence starts with a simple filmmaking challenge to help learners get used to basics of camerawork and developing their imagination and ingenuity to problem solve and the scheme of work ends with a dive into film theory and documentary film production.

As an experienced classroom practitioner who has taught both Film and Media Studies across several Key Stages, I believe that this Supa Modo resource contains a host of tools for teachers to expand the cultural horizons of their students, whilst also embedding critical practice that will act as a perfect induction into Film and Media whilst also benefitting their progress in other subjects such as English Literature.

With Film Studies in particular, the requirement for critical thinking, conscious construction of argument, adroit use of academic language and close textual analysis lends itself well to progress in other subjects, whether it be English, History or even STEM subjects. Studying Supa Modo is a first step on that journey, using a medium with which learners are inherently familiar, to both challenge and encourage a reappraisal of their view on the world.

Headshot of Dan Cooper, Film and Media Teacher

Dan Cooper, Film Studies Teacher

Dan Cooper is an experienced Film Studies teacher across several Key Stages. He also regularly writes educational resources for Into Film. Dan also works on the editorial team at Film Stories, a UK-based film magazine and website, dedicated to ushering through new voices in film writing.

This Article is part of: Using Film to Teach...

A series of articles that highlight how the medium of film can be used to teach a wide variety of subjects and themes.

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