Three Ways You Can Learn From Movies

Movies are everywhere.

Their stories, phrases, and scenes are a part of our culture.

We all have favorite movies, favorite memories relating to movies, and in some cases movies that help us define our lives. While you may not think about it, movies have probably enriched your life.

Movies are stories told in a rich medium. Stories are how we make sense of the world. They hold tremendous power to surprise and delight; to affect in ways far beyond entertainment. Stories, well told on film, can affect our views of ourselves and alter our perspectives of our world. Stories, without question, have made our lives better.

Learning is one of the most important parts of life. In fact, the ability to learn in a multitude of ways is one of our most human qualities. We learn best when we are immersed in a situation, actively involved in the learning process. Movies can help us learn because they wrap us up in a story. If you’ve ever jumped or screamed or cried during a movie, you’ve experienced the power of film.

While most think of movies as entertainment, a diversion or an escape because of their very nature they can be much more than that. As the previous paragraphs show, movies123 they likely already have become a source of learning in your life.

The rest of this article will provide you with three specific ways you can consciously use movies to drive your learning and enrich your life:

Asking Reflective Questions

oExploring Your Mental Filters

oCreating Group Conversation

oAsking Reflective Questions

There are some general questions that can be helpful when reviewing a movie – whether to reflect personally or to spark a conversation. These questions can be used with any movie and can be, by themselves, the foundation of meaningful learning opportunities. These core questions include:

oWhat was/were your favorite scene(s) and why?

oWhat did you like/dislike about the movie and why?

oIf you’ve seen the movie before, how was your experience of the movie different from past viewing(s)? What struck you the same or differently?

o What scenes made you laugh or cry (if appropriate)? Why?

o Which characters, if any, do you identify with in some way?

o What about this movie or story reminds you of your life experiences?

o What if anything will you do differently, or think about differently, since watching the movie?

o What insight do you gain from this movie?

o What in this movie inspires you?

Exploring Your Mental Filters

Your state of mind, current thoughts, and life experiences all play a part in how you “see” a movie.

This is one reason why you can watch a movie twice, even if only a few days apart, and have a very different experience. Your mental filters are the reason why you may experience a movie differently on different viewings.

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