Two thumbs up for movie days
By Rana Ammari
Nothing made me happier than movie days in high school. Many of the movies we watched were actually relevant to what we were learning in class. These movies, and sometimes even TV shows, were not at all boring. In fact, watching movies in class can be both entertaining and educational.
I recall watching the movie “Gattaca”, an exciting thriller shown in my Biology class. I also watched “21” in Math class, which showcased how math skills can be used in the real world. To learn about the struggle to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, I watched the movie “Thirteen Days” in my History class. The movie “Hamlet” was shown in my AP English class after we read the popular play by William Shakespeare. I even watched an episode of the popular show “Friends”, which I’m currently binge-watching on Netflix, in my AP English class to demonstrate the three different types of irony.
I did not just watch movies in my required courses, but in my electives as well. In my Women Studies class, I watched the movie “Enough”, starring Jennifer Lopez, and “Bend it Like Beckham”, which stars one of my favorite actresses – Keira Knightley. Both of these movies showcased the difficulties women face in society. These movies were highly entertaining and very relatable to what my teachers were teaching in the classroom.
When winter and spring break rolled around, my teachers decided to incorporate movie days for pleasure. Since it was our time off from school and there was no homework to be done, movies such as “A Christmas Story”, “Finding Nemo”, and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” were shown. Those three movies were extremely popular throughout my four years in high school and it was fun to simply enjoy the movie and not have to worry about school work.
Watching movies in class didn’t stop in high school. I’m currently in my fourth year at Madonna, and my professors are increasingly using video clips and full-length movies for teaching purposes and discussion starters during class.
Last semester in my Exceptional Learner class, my professor showed a clip of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in the movie “Rain Man”. This clip showcased the characteristics of a person with Autism, a topic we were discussing in class at the time. Even though the clip was short, I found it really helpful to see how people with Autism cope with their surroundings.
Also last semester, after reading In Cold Blood, written by American author Truman Capote, my professor decided to show the movie “Capote”. The movie mainly focused on the author after the events of the 1959 murder of a Kansas family and during the writing of his non-fiction book. It was definitely interesting to see the process of how the book came about, especially since the book details the true accounts and the aftermath of a multiple murder.
Last year, my British Literature Professor showed the movie “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, after we read the comedy play by William Shakespeare. It’s both interesting and informative to see how words on paper translate to the screen. It helps me understand the work better and allows me to see the comparisons between the two.
Movies are a valuable tool in the classroom, a tool that has been utilized for several courses so far in my years at Madonna. I don’t see that changing anytime in the future and I don’t think it should.