I have been asked by quite a few teachers recently, ‘Which are the best films to use with my year group?’ It has been quite difficult to decide on my favourites. There were the obvious ones that many people use: The Piano, Alma, Francis but I wanted to share some that may be under the radar for some people.
The first blog are films that I have had used successfully in Year 6, P7, Age 10 – 11. This is not an exhaustive list and many of you will have your own favourites.
The story of a young boy who would rather stay at home playing video games rather than spending time outside in the sunshine. At first impression, a typical youngster. When his mother brings home a surprise, he finds it hard to concentrate on the game any longer. Inside the box, the boy finds a puppy but soon he has tossed it aside due to its disability. The loveable little dog though perseveres and manages to win the boy’s affection. It becomes clear, at the end of the film, that the dog reminded the boy of himself as he is an amputee who needs the aid of crutches to walk.
This is one of the most popular films that I have used with students, the superhero theme coupled with a modern pop song is both appealing and engaging to students aged 10 and upwards. In the story, a young boy finds himself in the rubble after an explosion in a school. The audience cannot be sure of what happened, but the school staff seem scared of him. He goes home and packs a bag to leave, but the police arrive at his home. It is at this point that we see the supernatural powers that he has including telekinesis. He seems to be able to control his powers but sometimes they can overwhelm him. The students enjoy the pace and energy in this short film, and this is often reflected in both their oral and written responses.
Definition – a female aviator or pilot
The year is 1953 and Jacqueline Auriol, the daughter-in-law of the French president is strapped into a jet plane and is about to create history. The story is recounted in Jacqueline’s own words, through a series of flashbacks and the audience can witness Jacqueline becoming the first European female to break the sound barrier. It is important that all children have positive role models: Jacqueline Auriol is a woman that all can look up to.
Manuk lives in a small town caught up in the Korean war in 1951. Manuk spends his days playing soldiers in the bombed-out houses and looking for shrapnel and the other debris of war. Manuk’s antics have some unintended comedy outcomes which are in stark contrast to what is waiting for him when he gets home. After arriving home, Manuk finds a parcel, which he thinks is a birthday present. In the parcel are the personal effects of his father. Manuk doesn’t understand what is happening but it becomes clear to the film’s audience that Manuk’s father will not be coming home from the front.
Eye of the Storm
This music video from Lovett tells the story of an anonymous airship pilot who we see in a very dark, simplified silhouette. The pilot, in his melancholy, is seemingly steering his airship into a massive storm. Throughout the video, we see the man preparing his craft, setting it to ‘autopilot’ and saying goodbye to his only companion – a dragon. The mysteriousness of the story allows much scope for discussion. What is he doing? Where is he going?