Developing Media Literacy with Moving Image Education

Cultures through centuries might be seen to have promoted their shared values through story-telling (oral or written), songs, and visual art. Nowadays many would argue that the moving image (whether television, films or animations) has become a major tool for telling stories, sharing ideas, or seeking to change opinions. As such it is seen to be very important that we educate pupils to be able to look at moving images just as critically as with any other communication medium. The following resources provide support for teachers in incorporating Moving Image Education in the classroom.

Film:21st Century Literacy “Film: 21st Century Literacy is rooted in the belief that in the same way that we take for granted that society has a responsibility to help children to read and write – to use and enjoy words – we should take it for granted that we help children and young people to use, enjoy and understand moving images; not just to be technically capable but to be culturally literate too.”

Moving Image Education (MIE) was defined by Inge Sørensen & David Griffith as “Educational initiatives involving both the analysis and/or creation of moving images including the watching and appreciation of moving image narratives, training in film making, animation or other screen media, creative activities involving the creation of films, animations, interactive media or other screen narratives, structured moving image education in formal (with or without a curricular remit) and informal education settings. Critical to the definition is the involvement of pupils or groups: an artist employed to make a film about a school performance is not Moving Image Education, whereas involving the pupils themselves in the filming of the performance and in the film making process – thereby reflecting on how film and theatre differ for example – is. Film viewing is not Moving Image Education in itself, unless it is accompanied by the teaching or critical understanding of, for example, how this medium creates meaning.”

 Moving Image Education from Creative Scotland describes Moving Education Education thus: “Children experience moving images from earliest childhood. Cartoons, films, adverts, and all moving image media are very carefully constructed to tell stories and provoke feelings. They are a huge part of our culture. Children learn intuitively to read this information so they can follow a story. Moving Image Education is about helping young people to question, analyse, explore and understand the meaning of what they’re watching and hearing.” This site provides free resources, activities, information and guidance (aimed at the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence across all areas and stages, but also for everyone working anywhere with groups of all ages and abilities). This site provides guides to making your own film or video; to analyse or learn how to read films like books, explore about the culture and heritage of moving images.

Ten Tools for Reading Film is a post by Bill Boyd, The Literacy Adviser, with ten techniques designed to provide teachers with a route into the exploration of film and moving image in the classroom. Each of the Ten Tools is accompanied by a list of potential discussion questions and typical activities.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image provides a bank of resources to support moving image education, including an interactive storyboard creator.

Film English promotes the use of film in the language classroom. There are lesson plans, a glossary, links and videos to help both teachers and pupils. The three main objectives of Film English are:
 ■promote the critical and creative use of film in the language classroom
 ■promote cineliteracy, the ability to read critically and evaluate moving images, in the language classroom.
 ■promote creativity amongst both teachers and students.

The Teaching Ideas site has a great collection of resources to support film-making and animation production in the classroom, including lesson plans, posters, display material and more.

The Literacy Shed – Visual Literacy Teaching Ideas – a collation of ideas, tips and examples (collected and described by Rob Smith) of using film clips to develop visual literacy.

TV Tropes wiki is a comprehensive collection of well-recognised literary techniques used in the media, including television dramas, advertising and movies. This wiki breaks down the techniques into various categories, and also has a seacrh facility. These would be useful both in understanding how filming techniques work to engage an audience and engender certain reponses from audiences, as well as providing inspiration for pupils in writing or in creating film media of their own.

Using Film in Teaching of History

Film Story is an online database of films which relate to stories of countries – the database can be searched on geographical area, or historical topics. Many people relate to and learn about historical people, places, and events through film. Historians argue about how well or otherwise films provide an accurate representation of lives in history and historical events – and films can provide the mechanism to engage pupils in discussions comparing historical evidence, first-hand accounts and oral histories with the versions of stories portayed through film.

Moving Image Resources as drama stimulus

Online resources of film clips, news stories or movie trailers can be used in class drama activities as starting point for “What happens next” improvisations (to download films you may need to right-click on film clips – save target as – choose location to save on your computer – download): here are some video sources: – video clips from Scotsman news archive. – Scottish archive of photographs and film. – UK Movie Image and Media Education. – Scottish Screen – includes resources and links. British Film Institute Learning resources includes guides to using film in the classroom as well as film-specific resources.

Movie-Making Tools and resources

Video-editing for free – provides links to free Movie-making tools and resources to support using them in the classroom.

Aspiring Aardman, Perhaps Pixar or Destined for Disney? Online tools for creating classroom animations.


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