On the 6th of December we had our latest training session for this year’s Media Literacy project. Our emphasis was very much on material teachers could take away and swiftly transfer to classroom practice. The project had been running since September and we were keen to hear about what worked in classrooms across the twenty eight schools engaged in the project far and wide across the Bradford authority.
We started off listening to the work done by our Media Literacy Leading teachers. These were the teachers who were involved in the first year of the project and are now grouped with the teachers who have joined this year. The teachers followed this by sharing what they had been doing in their classes since the last meeting. I’ve included password protected videos of their work at the foot of this post. If you don’t have the password and would like to view the videos please email me. Needless to say there was a wealth of ideas shared between all the teachers. The resources page of this blog was widely used to find films and to download resources to facilitate discussion and deeper understanding of film and narrative in general. It’s important to recognise the breadth of genres covered in the writing rather than just narrative.
In the afternoon we had a fantastic session delivered by Rob Smith ( @redgierob on Twitter). Rob is a teacher from Manchester but is most famous for creating and curating the amazing Literacy Shed web site. Rob shared with us the ways he uses films in his own classroom to engage learners and inspire them to produce powerful writing. As most of the work we do is centred around narrative, Rob challenged us to use film with non fiction genres. We analysed films focussing on persuasion, biography and non chronological genres. With each film we watched Rob shared a wealth of engaging activities to make writing engaging and purposeful. The teachers I spoke to found this an invaluable exercise packed with ideas to transfer to their own use of film in their classrooms almost straight away.
Our brilliant consultant Philip Webb got us in the Christmas spirit with Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman. We were using Tell Me grids to work in home and expert groups to discuss the animation. This approach really helps participants to focus discussion on aspects of the film and by giving them a clear role in the ensuing discussion.
He showed us the links between shot types and writing different kinds of sentences. He shared a wealth of resources which can be accessed via our Edmodo group. The leading teachers were tasked with creating questions based on the clip linked to the different assessment foci. Philip also gave us a brief preview of the resources based around Hugo he has produced for the next training session.
This session allowed us all to share ideas and discuss what works in the classroom and will help pupils to deepen their understanding of film impact upon their writing. Quote of the day came from a pupil at Hollingwood courtesy of their teacher Vicky. The pupil asked Vicky when they were going to start doing any Literacy. The writing they were doing based on film was seen as exciting and different. A ringing endorsement if there ever was one.