A fresh take on “movie notes”

I’ll admit it. I show a lot of documentaries in my classes. There is just no escaping it in a World Issues or World Geography class, there are just too many great films to show. One thing, however, that I am not a fan of though is “movie questions” or “movie notes” that the students must complete while watching documentaries. The students spend too much time looking at their notebooks and not enough time looking at the screen.

We want the students to be engaged in the documentary and we want them to think critically about the what they see and hear, but we don’t want them to be consumed with answering questions that the teacher thought were important to answer. Enter the Tweet Chat. Today, I had my students participate in a tweet chat while we watched the documentary The Real Slumdogs. I posed a question before the documentary started to get the students thinking and had the students use a common hashtag to discuss the question and, more importantly, share their thoughts during the film.

Students were able to quickly tweet their thoughts and interact with one another without taking too much time away from the screen. It also provided an opportunity for them to share their learning with their peers outside of the classroom – which doesn’t hurt either. Here are the results:

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