Monday, 1 September 2014

Freedom and Writers

Last week I had my students discuss what freedom meant to them. What it felt like not having freedom and countries where there isn't any freedom for their people.

As they've been studying human rights, corruption and segregation etc in social studies at the moment - teaching 'The Freedom Writers' was the perfect film.

I'd originally planned on teaching it but had a chat with a couple of my colleagues in the social sciences and found out what they'd been studying - which luckily and fortunately worked within what we've been doing in class.

Started watching it today...

Began with a recap of last weeks freedom lesson and discussed the theme - tried getting them to guess what it was. Only one student had figured it out since the beginning of the term when I first started giving out clues. And I kept looking at her to make sure she wasn't giving anything away. One student guessed correctly but I didn't say anything until after we'd started.

Once we'd started, they were all hooked. The film connects so easily. The point is made relatively quickly in the first half an hour and sets up the rest of the story too.

Our class has gotten really good at predicting what will happen next in the stories they read. They began making predictions without any prodding today which was awesome.

Started crying when Eva was talking about hating on sight. And when Erin Gruwell mentioned the holocaust and the biggest gang in history.

When it got to the Line Game I remembered doing it with my students at Massey. They needed it, like Erin's students. The students I have now are alot more supportive, collaborative of each other. I was thinking about not doing the line game with them - purely for that reason. But one student asked for it today - so we'll have a go with it tomorrow to start our lesson.

Am looking forward to my students' responses with this film. They're getting it already. They're an incredibly well-grounded group of kids and the depth that they will be able to connect with the characters, themes and events will be awesome. Hopefully it will be enough inspiration to begin their speeches. :)

At the start of the year I bought this class 1B5's for journals. Am pretty sure they've been used up now - but will grab another set this week. Important for them to be writing as they're watching the film. Will see whether they're able to make those deeper links in their responses while they're relating and connecting with the film through their journals.

Update: (6th Sept)
Did the Line Game yesterday. They loved it. I need to find more resources now. On the hunt.