Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Curriculum

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Curriculum: a full-year high school course for literature learning using the medium of movies!

Introducing Cinema Studies for Literature Learning curriculum, a full-year high school course for literature learning using the medium of movies!

Teens can use some movies as part of the work that earns their Literature credits if they practice analysis skills like the ones explored in this guide.

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning curriculum is geared to the visual learner in high school, to those who are reluctant readers or for whom reading is very time-consuming, and to those who love movies! Good movies tell good stories, and good storytelling requires the use of traditionally respected literary devices and techniques. With a little help from a study guide, many movies introduce the viewer to excellent literature that is being presented in a visual medium.

This format for literature study is a great option for high school students who become overwhelmed with a demanding reading list. Can you REALLY use movies as literature? While reading books is still a necessary part of a teen’s high school education, placing the ANALYSIS of literature primarily in the arena of movies is a good option for some students.

As with all curriculum from 7Sisters, we aim for no-busywork and no-overkill, instead offering teens a chance to build critical thinking skills while earning high school credit.

How much credit does each Cinema Studies Guide earn?

The Cinema Studies for Literature Learning is part of the English/Language Arts credit. Each of the guides with its movie can count as a book, although teens should also read some real books too. (Read this post to understand what goes into the Language Arts credit.)

What is in each Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Guide?

Each guide contains:

  • Background information
  • List of characters
  • Theme or themes being highlighted
  • A few vocabulary words to consider
  • Questions to develop thinking skills and awareness of how the themes work in the movie
  • Answer key for parents

Here’s how Cinema Studies for Literature Learning guides work.

  • Each study guide asks the student to read the introductory material, watch the movie once (answering questions as they go, occasionally pausing the video), and then take a week to think a bit about the ideas and the literary devices they observed. Ideally, students should discuss their answers with someone else to enhance the learning process.
  • Students then watch the movie a second time after the questions and ideas have had some time to take root, then write in response to the suggested assignment at the end of the study guide. Writing assignments assume a certain degree of basic understanding on the part of the student regarding paragraph structure and essay form. (If your teen has not practiced essay writing, we recommend that you look into a writing guide like Introductory Guide to High School Essay Writing by Marilyn Groop, available in the ebookstore here.)

This product downloads as separate PDF files for each cinema study guide included. One set of files is intended for student use. These documents contains fillable fields so students can type their answers directly into the guide. The other set of files are the answer keys, intended for the parent.

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Curriculum

A full-year high school course in ebook .pdf format including study guides for the following movies:

You can click to view an excerpt from each of the included guides when you view their individual product descriptions. Click a title above, or navigate here to choose the individual title you would like to explore! Each title includes an excerpt you can view near the bottom of the guide’s description.

Elements of Literature brought into focus in Cinema Studies for Literature Learning include:

  • Theme
  • Universal and Personal Symbolism
  • Satire
  • Archetype
  • Motivation
  • Internal and External Conflict
  • Static and Dynamic Characters
  • Extended Metaphor
  • Father and Son Stories
  • Fiction as Social Commentary
  • Suspension of Disbelief
  • Dramatic Foils
  • The Nature of Heroism
  • Irony
  • Foreshadowing
  • Composite Characters
  • Classic 3-Act Plot Structure
  • Sub-plot
  • Deus Ex Machina
  • Farce
  • Bildungsroman (Coming of Age Story)
  • Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths, and Allegories
  • Juxtaposition
  • Allusion

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning curriculum explores the important IDEAS of story-telling and the power stories have to shape individuals, groups of people, and even entire cultures using the visual medium of movies…all while earning Level 2 Average credit in literature toward the core English/Language Arts credit that must be recorded on the transcript each year in high school.

Here’s a post that shares where to find the movies for Cinema Studies for Literature Learning.

(Get a comprehensive look at understanding high school literature credits in this Authoritative Guide post.)

10-Day No-Questions-Asked Money-Back Guarantee on all 7Sisters EBook curriculum.

If you’d like an in-depth comparison of the different bundles for Literature and Writing available from your homeschooling big sisters here at, click here for Which ELA Curriculum Bundle is Right for YOU??, and download this FREE, informative PDF.

Here’s a fun post with ways to use these movies and the book that goes with them.

What people are saying:

Here’s a post by Sara May discussing her family’s experience with Cinema Studies for Literature Learning.

“I’m teaching the Literature Analysis through Cinema at our co-op to 15 high schoolers. It’s going really well. Discussion is always lively as they like to share their likes and dislikes of the movie right away. I use the study guide questions to then spur good discussions and the writing prompts are all solid. There’s always a meaty literary element to learn and you can easily expand on it even if you don’t have that kind expertise. Elements like character development, static or dynamic, satire, subplots, and many other things like metaphors and comedy etc. It’s really great. The curriculum doesn’t have any grammar lessons or parts of speech or writing instruction, but you can easily add that yourself during the second week when the students are working on their written response. It’s also been fun to give background info on the actors of the time the movie was made and what was happening in the culture at that time compared to now. We have also talked about how the movie would be different if it was made in this current culture. Very good class.” – J.S.

“They were perfect for my dyslexic student!” – A.W.

“We’ve enjoyed the cinema studies too. Reading a book then watching a movie has been a great way to keep my learner motivated.”- E.M.

“We love the cinema studies!”- H.B.


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