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Activity

Rate This Movie! Hold a Viewing Party

 

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Rate This Movie! Hold a Viewing Party

Grades 9 – 12
Activity Time Approximately 2 hours to watch the movie, plus time set aside for the salon. The activity can be split into 2 sessions if necessary—one for viewing, another for the salon.
Activity Author

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith

Portland, Oregon

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

Activity Description

Why This Is Helpful

 

Activity Description

A traditional French salon is a gathering of friends, usually held in one of the friends’ home, to hash out stimulating ideas pertaining to a certain topic, such as art or politics.  The purpose is to expand one another’s understanding through thoughtful analysis and debate.  In this case, the discussion will revolve around a movie.  Friends will get together to watch a movie, either at home or at the theater, then follow up with a party to discuss the movie’s virtues and weaknesses.  After discussing and scoring the various movie elements, the group can go online and check their refined opinions against movie critics’ verdicts to see how they match up against the pros.

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Why This Is Helpful

As moviegoers, we don’t always understand why we react the ways we do to what we see onscreen.  Similar to the decisions an author makes while writing a book, everything that happens in a movie is based on the movie makers’ decisions.  We often lose sight of the fact that the movie is entirely artificial, including the lighting, the setting, the dialogue, and the emotions—all elements consciously assembled to create an effect for the audience.  In this activity, teens apply their critical thinking skills toward breaking down the illusion.  Through the process of analysis and discussion they will hopefully discover insights into their own behaviors, attitudes, and reactions, as well as evolve their overall understanding of storytelling.

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