Movie Talk from Ruth

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8 thoughts on “Movie Talk from Ruth”

  1. Thanks for this MovieTalk plan. I know I have to work on the backward design with a MovieTalk more.

    I liked what you shared here:

    6. Show the clip a third time straight through while students call out words, phrases, whatever they can as they see things happen. They liked this.

    I tried doing this last year as well, a kind of shout-out retell as you show the movie clip. The entire class got into it. They’re a sense of urgency to shout out the words or phrases as the movie clip is going on. Then, I tried it again for my second MovieTalk some weeks later and their interest had faded some. The third time, weeks later still, and I observed many kids fading out because they knew they couldn’t produce like the handful of superstars.

    Nonetheless, I imagine there is lots of potential in implementing variations of this kind of activity — let’s call it Narrating a Movie Clip.
    — paired narrations… switching speaker and listener with each clip
    — 1 student narrates during clip. Stop clip and class can volunteer details that narrator left out.
    — small group retells… students have screenshots printed on a handout. Students go around and retell the narration one screenshot at a time. (There could be many variations of this. Lynda, of our TCI Chicagoland group, offered the idea of giving students a slip of paper with the targeted structures written so that the listener in these small groups can tally every time the speaker uses a targeted structure.) But this should only be done after getting 100s of reps of the targeted vocab.
    — competitive retells. For those couple of students that are competitive in the room. Class could vote on who retells the story with more language production.

    Now, I realize these are all output activities and our focus here is how to give better input. But, I personally am finding the need to vary up my input with output activities. I’m struggling to have my students sustain attention on my CI so I need to both refine my CI skills and include brief helpings of a variety of output activities so that my kids don’t totally fall out. (It’s worth noting that about 30% of my students have IEPs. Many of my students have lots of room for growth in exercising rigor (thanks Robert) through interpersonal communication skills. Too much squirrellyness and too much English in my classroom.) I know. I know. Ideally I refine my CI skills. But, like Ben and James have said; that 10 minute rule helps keep the class manageable. So, why not do a little output activity after 10 minutes or so of CI?

    1. Sean, I’ve been thinking about and encouraging a little more voluntary output lately, too, for similar reasons. I like your ideas. There are more retell ideas in another post here somewhere. One easy, low-stress-for-the-kids thing to do is have them do a choral reading of the story with me in French. This is probably a super obvious thing to do, but I’d always just had them translate until I saw Sabrina do it this way in Maine. It’s really good for French because the spelling and pronunciation are so different. I have to say, besides knowing never to force it, I’ve been feeling unclear about output the whole time.
      But it’s getting clearer.
      I also am dealing with squirrelyness and too much English in some classes, especially young 6th graders. Good to bring up the 10 minute timer again. That’s always a good thing to do.

  2. I’m into minimizing prep as much as possible. Recently I’ve had the class narrate to me the story and I type it up, embellishing as we go, adding dialogue, etc. I sometimes toggle between the Word doc I’m typing, and the MT video which I am in the middle of showing for the 3rd or 4th time. Sometimes I type my version while they’re doing their free write.

    Then I print it right there in my class. I recently bought a wonderful high output HP1200 black and white printer for my classroom. $79 on eBay (I was reimbursed, thankfully). The high volume cartridge (refillable, cheap!) prints 5000 copies at about 12 copies per minute. So it’s a snap to type up, proof, and print my written story in my room. Then we go right into ROA.

  3. If you (like me) find screenshots helpful, but want to maximize the prep time involved, here are some ways I’ve used them:

    Aural input-based:
    – for Look & Discuss before seeing the short film; aural/oral discussion & PQA of the students based on what they see.
    – for retells of the film clip the day after MovieTalk: show on screen and have whole class, partners, or small teams retell what they see. If they like competition, tally how many statements students (either the whole class or in small groups) can make about each slide.
    – for Look & Discuss, show as many slides on screen as you want in “Slide Sorter” from the View menu. Say a statement that matches one (or more!) of the slides and have a student smack it. Play it in teams if you want. (I call variations on that activity “Smack!”)

    Reading input-based:
    – for early steps of Read & Discuss live in class: take student suggestions on how to caption them and type them then & there, then re-read together when captions are finished.
    – for a reading version of Smack!: give them a list of numbered sentences (random order from the captions you typed together, for example) and display in “Slide Sorter” view. Call out a sentence number and have student pairs figure which picture matches. Again, you can turn it into a game and have them smack the match. I use stuffed animals for the purpose.
    – for Read & Discuss if students can access computers: they get a copy of the slideshow, and look at the pictures to help themselves read and properly re-order a write-up of the short film.
    – for independent student writing by computers: they get a copy of the slideshow and add their own captions to each.
    – again for a Fluency Write: using the pictures as prompts, write about what happened in the short film (not captions, paragraphs).

    1. These are really good ideas, Diane. Thank you! Something like Smack! turns it into a game that could be played anytime after the initial MT days – the next month, next year, whenever. In fact, a few of these ideas could be used at later times. After all the work that goes into making these things, it’s good (and smart) to get the most out of them. After a while, they’ll seem fresh again, especially used in a different way. At least that is what I imagine, though the reality doesn’t always match my optimistic thinking and planning.

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