Today all my juniors, who make up a large part of my advanced class, came in brain-dead from taking the WorkKeys test. They asked to do something “easy,” and so I practiced MovieTalk on them with the first 12 minutes of a Russian film (taking up 75 minutes of class). It turned out that I did a mixture of three things: MovieTalk as I understand it (no sound, my narration, with pauses on the shots that I want to talk about), discussion of the people, places and events in the film, and reading of appropriate subtitles. I put necessary words up on the board, and got to realize that figuring out the themes of a movie is really important, because then you can then direct all your talk that way for the day. I needed to have figured out that I might talk about relationships, about choosing one’s path in life, or about how technology influences our lives. How many of our choices for friends depend on our environment? Why do we go down one path? When do we decide to listen to our gut feelings and not to those around us? I ended up throwing out questions about being late, rather than starting with any big themes. I guess we could later talk about how being late says something about how important a person or event is to us.
Reading the subtitles for this movie was perfect, because the kids know most of the language, but it went by pretty fast for them to get if they didn’t have the subtitles. I felt like that gave them support when we watched the few minutes with the sound. I’m not sure whether that’s what I should be doing, but it felt right for this group. We’ll see whether we can fit a few minutes of this film into our days.
We’re watching Piter FM…one of the kids asked whether she could move from Moscow to St. Petersburg! Not this semester, but you can visit!
If anyone out there knows a similar kind of film about Moscow, I’d love to know the name. That is, one with a school-appropriate plot and lots of beautiful scenes from the city, that would be great.
On the other hand, they’re all taking pictures of their neighborhoods and their weekend excursions. We’re finally going to talk about the weekend we “just” had for our next class period.