Frequently Asked Questions
How do I navigate the site?
Click on the link to “Search Movies” from the menu bar. We have several ways to help you find the curriculum materials that you need.
Does TWM provide the movies?
No. TWM Users must provide their own copies of the movies. However, you may purchase the movies for most of our guides from Amazon.com.
How do I print TWM materials?
Use the print feature from your web browser.
What is TeachWithMovies.org?
TWM is a collection of lesson plans and curriculum materials in which movies are employed to inspire, inform and motivate students. We want to make it easy for teachers to give their classes excellent lessons using movies. The goal: on the few occasions that movies are used in the classroom, the educational benefit for students will be maximized.
But TWM is really more than just a collection of curriculum materials. It’s a system for using film in the classroom. TWM has standard questions, standard assignments and an essay concerning the devices used in film that can be adapted to any movie.
Why do you advocate using movies in the classroom?
Actually, TWM doesn’t advise using a lot of movies in the classroom. We suggest that teachers show one, possibly two, full-length movies a semester. What TWM advocates is using full-length movies in a way that inspires, opens new vistas, drives assignments, and changes perception. The uses are myriad and the benefits many. When 11th-grade girls tell you that the film Water, a movie about widows in India in the 1930s is the best movie they ever saw, you know you’ve opened a new window on their world.
The use of movies to babysit classes, when a teacher is tired or needs to grade papers violates professional standards and should be kept to an absolute minimum.
What about the use of film clips such as those suggested in TWM’s Snippet Lesson Plans?
Short clips from films are a different story. They can be used more often because the video component takes up much less class time than an entire film.
I get great results when I use movies in class and I think I should use them more often. Why do you suggest only one or two movies a semester?
We are excited about what we have been able to teach students and the reports we get back from teachers about the astonishing benefits to students when teachers show the right movie at the right time with the right introduction, supplemental materials, and assignments. However, class time is valuable and films take time to weave their magic. School is work. Kids need to be taught habits of discipline and to apply themselves to tasks. They need to learn modes of absorbing information in the traditional ways of reading, listening to a lecture, etc. But you don’t have to rely on movies shown in class. Have your students watch movies as homework. See TWM’s Historical Fiction in Film Homework Project and Movies as Literature Homework Project.
Why are some movies not recommended?
If we can’t figure out a way to make watching a film a learning experience or there is objectionable material that disqualifies it for educational use, then the movie will be placed on our list of Notes on Movies for Which a Learning Guide has not Been Prepared. Bear in mind two things. Our opinions are, of course, subjective and can change with time and in response to comments from our contributors and Users.
How do you find the movies that you recommend?
From our own review of movies and through suggestions from those who use the site and make recommendations. To make a recommendation email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who writes the Guides and the Lesson Plans?
Click here for a list of our active contributors. They are all educators.
What is a Learning Guide?
A Learning Guide provides several different components and suggestions about how teachers can easily and quickly craft a lesson plan. Don’t feel pressure to use everything in a Learning Guide. There’s often too much there for a single lesson plan.
There’s a movie that’s not on your list. How do I get TWM to write a guide for it?
Email us at email@example.com. The problem is that it takes a lot of time and work to craft a high-quality Learning Guide or lesson plan. In addition, we have a long backlog of movies for which we would like to write guides.
Perhaps the best way to get us to put a Learning Guide on TWM is to write up a draft guide yourself and send it to us. If we believe that the movie will provide a worthwhile educational experience and if we have the time, we’ll work on it with you, give you the benefit of our ideas and experience, get your feedback and, if the final product meets TWM’s standards, it will be published. We’ll give you an author’s or co-author’s credit.
I would like to contribute a lesson plan.
Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we believe that the movie will provide a worthwhile educational experience and if we have the time, we’ll work on it with you, give you the benefit of our ideas and experience, get your feedback and, when we publish it, we’ll give you an author’s or a co-author’s credit.