Movie Talk Thoughts

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8 thoughts on “Movie Talk Thoughts”

  1. Carla, one of the Winnetka3 that presented at NTPRS this past summer, shared with us at our TCI Chicagoland meeting yesterday her success with using one of the Caminandes short videos for a MovieTalk as the final activity of a 6 week long unit (if you want to call it that).

    Here’s a short description of this MovieTalk with Embedded Readings done by Carla:

    She had several targeted structures she used to write a narration for the MovieTalk on a Caminandes video, and backward designed from there. The first 5 weeks she established meaning, PQA’ed, and Story-asked with those targeted structures, including readings. To accompany the MovieTalk, she wrote 3 Embedded Readings. The first was 100 words, the second 200 words, and the third 300 words. In order to keep the 200 word and 300 word Embedded Readings compelling, she included a different character (or animal) or story element or story twist.

    Carla showed us a video of one of her students retelling the story in French. (Also good to note: her students storyboarded before doing the verbal retell.) It was awesome… after just having some 30 hours of French class, this student, an average student in her class, was able to free speak with comfort, with ease, and with a good range of vocabulary.

    1. If you want more info on Hastings’ program, Focal Skills, go here:
      http://focalskills.info
      The first module (listening) is primarily spent on MT.

      I disagree with #2 above – showing the video first. Sure, you can do that. But student attention is best when they don’t know what’s going to happen. Plus, you show the movie first, and then you can’t do any predicting. Same goes for doing the reading before the movie. If the clip is short, then I show it without stop at the end of class. I can also stress that when there are discipline issues that “you guys continue like this and we won’t have time to see the clip without stop at the end.”

      1. showing video first or not?

        I’ve done it both ways. I think it depends. Showing the whole thing first of the Simon’s Cat that I just shared worked well. They were enjoying using the words they had just learned, or already knew, as we discussed it during the second viewing. Others I have not shown first and that has worked well, too.
        Some videos lend themselves to prediction, for sure. And yes, the discipline issues…

    1. I just fell into doing screenshots for most of (but not all of) the video last time, and it was very effective. Kept the surprise at the end (and some surprises I didn’t put into screenshots). Yet it was smoother-feeling than stopping the video play.

      When I do a whole movie, though, showing the scene first is good. I think that’s the difference between using a long film and a short clip. Even if you show the whole scene first (from a long film), you’ve got plenty of room for further curiosity, prediction, etc.

      At a session at ACTFL, Miriam Patrick (Bob Patrick’s daughter, also a Latin teacher) shared about how she’s done MovieTalk and she had a few different twists on it. It was great. She does, with short clips, show the whole first and then goes back and pauses to discuss along the way the second time through. But one way she made that more compelling was moving from discussing the video itself to involving student questions in comparison to the video content — something like halfway through the discussion.

      I think there are a lot of subtle differences we can make in using video, and adding variety just by switching when or how the full clip is shown seems like a good idea.

  2. I just started Movie Talk this year. I find a clip with no dialogue (maybe music or sound effects in the background). So far the clips I’ve used have been animated short films not more than 3 minutes long. I create 3 embedded readings. One and two stop at the “cliff hanger”. The third reading tells it all. So, here is the order of what I do: 1) Read and translate the first two readings , 2) Show the entire movie 3) read the third reading 4) Put up 9-12 screen shots 5) circle questions with the screen shots 6) the next day, watch the movie again 7) more questioning on the screen shots 8) do a 7 minute free write, and 9) a couple of one minute free speaks. It’s a lot for two days. I keep lists of essential vocab posted, although for the free write I have started covering it up and allowing the students a “cheat sheet” with no more than 10 words of their choice. Even though it’s fast, students have shown me that they retain the vocab used in the story and actually use it in “real life”. For example, we watched a short film on a dog who stole sausages in a butcher shop. A month later a girl in my class told me in perfect French that her class mate stole her pencil.

  3. I’m trying to see if this sequence for MovieTalk, which I had taken away from earlier discussion here, compares to your sequence, Ursula:

    1. Choose a short and simple clip that is just a few minutes in duration.
    2. Isolate the (2 or 3) new expressions you want to teach.
    3. In class, establish meaning of the target structures.
    4. Show a few seconds of the video to the class.
    5. Freeze the frame and use Look and Discuss to talk about the image.
    6. Use the image to do some PQA with the students.
    7. Repeat the sequence in steps 4 through 6 throughout the class.
    8. Play the video without interruption.
    9. Present the reading using Reading Option A.
    10. Give the quiz.

    Your sequence:

    1. Read and translate the first two readings .
    2. Show the entire movie.
    3. Read the third reading.
    4. Put up 9-12 screen shots.
    5. Circle questions with the screen shots.
    6. The next day, watch the movie again.
    7. More questioning on the screen shots.
    8. Do a 7 minute free write.
    9. A couple of one minute free speaks.
    10.Give the quiz.

    I would like to ask anyone who is experienced with MovieTalk to maybe compare the relative merits of both approaches. Like James, I need to have everything clear about what I do when and why.

  4. I don’t use Movietalk to introduce new stuff, but you certainly could, provided you had everything written out (new structures). The first approach– short film, frequently stopped– IMHO is better because more than 10-15 seconds of “non-input” watching = kids’ minds will wander. Also, in #2, why would a kid want to pay attention to screenshots if they have seen movie?

    You could, however, do some amazing culture stuff with a feature film. Show 10 min/class,nuse screenshots etc.

    My sequence is a bit different:
    A) I only use MT for review and I have (so far) only used short clips
    B) I make 3-5 screenshots of first 3/4 of film and one of climactic moment and dénouement
    C) I do Picturetalk (L&D) for screenshots
    D) THEN I show last 1/4 of film (kids will be psyched to see what happens)
    E) Other possibility: do MT in present, then review clip in past.

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