Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool High School- Special Replay

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool High School- Special Replay. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool High School- Special Replay

Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool High School

Need some fun in your homeschool high school? Think: movies!

Movies and reading can both count for Language Arts assignments? Yes, they can! Reading is fundamental, of course. However, movies can be a wonderful way to teach literature themes (and make a wonderful change of pace from books, books, books…). Our 7Sisters’ teens have loved the years where we took an entire year to study movies through a literature lens. They have also enjoyed years when we added a movie or two to study with literature themes.

Cinema studies for learning literature

Movies cannot always count as books. However, when our teens completed a study guide to accompany a movie we DID count that movie as a book. That’s because they were learning about literature through a movie, while doing high-school level learning.

They can be used to learn themes, plots, characters and other tools of literary analysis. Studying a movie can add some sparkle to a year that is getting bogged down in heavy literature books. However, you want to have good tools (like 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides).

Join Sabrina and Vicki for an enlightening discussion of movies for educational process.

Let’s start with another of Sabrina’s famous quotes:

Stories are stories.

So, a story in a movie is still a story.

Movies for Educational Purposes. So, a story in a movie is still a story.

Learning story analysis skills by watching movies is good for all teens.

Studying movies can build literature analysis skills for a variety of teens:

  • Those who have special needs
  • Average teens who need to liven up their literature learning experiences
  • College-bound teens who want to learn literature analysis skills in a variety of ways

Homeschool high schoolers with learning difficulties

These teens will find analysis skills more accessible when they watch and discuss movies. It can be easy to get bogged down in a book while trying to learn literature themes at the same time. Movies are short compared to many books, so there is less likelihood of becoming overwhelmed.

BTW- For more out of the box credit ideas and support for teens with special needs check out these:

Average teens who need more variety in their literature

Average teens, especially those not planning on going to college, do not need excessive amounts of literature analysis for the English/Language Arts credits. While they do need to read some real books and study some literature analysis, they can also liven things up by learning in different ways. Cinema studies for literature learning is a perfect way to do this.

College-bound teens who want to learn literature analysis skills in a variety of ways

Teens who are headed for college need solid literature analysis skills. They can build these skills with books with literature study guides. At the same time, they can add more levels of learning by using literary analysis skills to study movies.

So where do you start?

Choose one or two aspects of the movie’s story to discuss and analyze. This is important. It is wise to limit the ideas being studied for each movie- even if the movie has lots of outstanding features that could be explored. When you don’t over-teach, you don’t kill the movie. Not only that but teens can actually learn and hold onto their learning. We suggest 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides for this.

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning: Good literature, good education from movies!

When teens learn some concepts from a film story, they can then find those concepts when they read books.

When teens learn literary concepts from movies, they can make connections with those same concepts in real books. Making connections is a necessary facet of education (and an important life skill).

Watching movies as an educational tool, helps teens begin to think that any time they watch a movie, they can use their brains and think about what they are consuming. In other words, when given tools for analysis in a gentle way, most teens will have more critical thinking skills for watching movies any time.

All 7Sisters curriculum is level-able (adaptable for Average- through Honors-level studies.) Homeschool high schoolers who are college-bound Honors level cinema studies will find interesting and meaningful leveling-up activities in 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides.

The way the Cinema Studies guides work:

  • Students watch the movie.
  • They take notes as they watch the movie on anything that is interesting to them.
  • Then they watch the movie again several days later.
  • Lastly they complete the study guide (questions and a writing assignment).

As an aside, Vicki and Sabrina rabbit trailed onto the topic of audiobooks for books and poetry. They noted that Benedict Cumberbach is one of their favorite readers. Vicki has several pins on her Pinterest Poetry board with him reading a poem.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a *moving* talk about movies!

For more creative Language Arts ideas, check out A Novel Approach to High School Literature!


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Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool High School

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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