Reel Writing: Using Movies to Teach the Creative Writing Process

by Karla Hardaway


In this highly praised and innovative approach, literature concepts are taught through the medium of film. Students are taught to “read” movies using the same skills needed for reading literature. Each unit uses a movie to teach a literary concept. Course information such as definitions, history, cast lists, etc., is included for each unit. Teachers are given various activities for introducing literary concepts. Pages are ready to be reproduced to hand out to students or to make overhead transparencies. A viewing guide is included for each movie to be filled out as students watch the movie or as a comprehension check at the end of the movie. Students complete pre-viewing exercises, view the film, and then respond to the film through quizzes, oral assignments, group activities and performances, or writing assignments. Students write individually and in groups. They write character sketches, short stories, film reviews, skits, essays, term papers, and poetry (songs). The method is acclaimed by curriculum developers, teachers, and students who have experienced the curriculum first hand.


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