Curling up on the couch and watching a movie can be more than a great way for kids to relax; it can also be a terrific learning activity. By making a few requirements for before, during and after a movie, you may be able to help your kid learn from each film they watch. Whether it is reading an original book beforehand or changing a DVD’s language settings there are a number of techniques that can turn a movie into a learning experience. Here are three ways you can make each movie an opportunity for your child to learn.
- Read the book first (if possible)
From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, many of the most popular movies are adaptations of books. If the movie your child wants to watch is one of these, you may want to require that they read the book first. Not only can this be a great opportunity to encourage them to read, but if they think they will like the movie, there is a good chance they will enjoy the book too. If the movie doesn’t come from a book, you can usually find a related one for them to read first. For example, if they are interested in a dinosaur movie, you can require them to read a short dinosaur book. For younger kids, an easy way to break up the books into manageable pieces is to have them read a set amount each night. You can get them into the habit of brushing their teeth, changing into a pair of fun kid’s pajamas and reading for 20 minutes, 5 pages, or at whichever rate you determine is right for them. Older kids may be able to simply read at their own pace.
- Take advantage of the language and subtitle options in DVDs
Most DVDs and Blu-rays allow you to choose from a variety of language tracks and subtitle options. These can be great ways to encourage your child to learn a new language and work on their reading skills at the same time. If it is their first time watching a movie, you may want to let them watch it in English, but if they are just re-watching something, change the language to one that they are interested in learning. If they are just getting started with the language, leaving English subtitles on may help them learn while practicing their reading. As they get better, you can turn the subtitles into the same language as the audio and may be able to learn a language just by watching movies!
- Make a short assignment or have a discussion after each movie
Watching movies with your child isn’t just a great way to bond. It can also help you find new ways for them to learn and analyze the movie. For example, after watching a sci-fi movie, you and your child could do some research or experiments together to find out what kind of technologies may work in real life and which probably would not. For other films, you can have discussions about the movies themes, messages, and symbolism. If you don’t have time to watch a movie with your kid, try searching online to see if there are study questions for the movie. You could print these out and have them answer them during and after the movie. If they read a related book beforehand, ask them what the similarities and differences were between the book and movie. Another option is to just have them write a short summary of the movie, which may help their writing skills while also exercising their analytical abilities.
Entertainment and education don’t have to be separate. With a few simple steps and activities you can turn any movie into an opportunity for your child to read, write, discuss and learn. From learning new languages, to comparing and contrasting original books to movie adaptations, there is no end to the educational opportunities movies present!
This post was written by Ryan, a former teacher who has been blogging for the last year. He likes to find new ways to make education more exciting for kids, learn about educational technology, and help his nephew find new superhero outfits from www.funkidspajamas.com.Tips for Families, Uncategorized | Comment (0)
We’re working with an after school agency that wants to improve their programming by creating a WOW factor at their sites and training their supervisors to coach/mentor other staff. After talking with the leadership team, we decided to lead a sparks workshop with their supervisors, which will have two goals.
- We will help supervisors find their sparks and learn to use their sparks to create a wow factor in programming. So if you have a supervisor that enjoys dance, how could they incorporate dance into their everyday programming with youth? If a youth worker loves art, how could they use art to teach academic skills or social skills? If adults are teaching/mentoring/guiding while doing things that they LOVE, you are going to be wow-ed by their efforts.
- We will talk about coaching staff and young people to identify and grow their sparks. Good supervisors must be good coaches, but they need time to practice. If you can train youth workers to coach young people, then they will be better prepared to coach adults. And if you help youth find and utilize their sparks, they will more likely begin to thrive and grow into healthy, contributing citizens.
Are you creating a WOW factor at your sites? Are you teaching your supervisors to coach and mentor youth and adults around them? Are you engaging youth in their sparks? Wanna learn more about how to do that strategically?
Call us at 615.262.9676 or email us at cad@TheAssetEdge.net – we would love to partner with you to strengthen your programming efforts!Uncategorized | Comments Off
Check out this cool selection of articles related to college-hunting and scholarships…
Choosing the Right – Not Just the “Best” – Colleges Go
How Kids Really Choose a School The Daily Beast
The Best Kept Secret in College Admission The Daily Beast
How to Really Improve Your Admission Chances Go
10 Costly Mistakes in College Admission Forbes.com
The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Applicants Always Make Forbes.com
Paying for College
Paying for college When You Haven’t Saved Enough Forbes.com
Financial Aid 101 Go
Early Decision: College Admission’s Secret Handshake Forbes.com
Parents: Don’t Blow Your Kid’s Chances of College Admission Forbes.com
Reduce the Stress Go
When You Should be a Helicopter Mom Admission More.com
The Technology Revolution Changing College Admissions Forbes.comUncategorized | Comments Off
We know it when we see it. Strength. Power. Self-assuredness. Guts. The wonder of assets in motion. Brought to life in a child not only in the way s/he acts, but in the way s/he thinks and feels about him/herself and the world in which s/he lives. Studies of more than 2.2 million children and teens from the Search Institute, an organization that promotes healthy children, youth and communities, consistently show that the more assets young people have, the more successful they are, and the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors.
But it’s more than just a list of competencies. Our children must have what researchers at Search Institute call “spark” – an interest, talent, skill, asset or dream (academic, relational, athletic, artistic or intellectual) that excites them and enables them to discover their true passions, along with encouragement from trusted adults to nurture it. In my experience with young people, I have also seen spark further fueled when they have the “know how,” committed behaviors or “actions” behind those aspirations and defined reasons for pursuing their passion. Therefore, I’ve expanded the Search Institute term into the broader acronym, S.P.A.R.K.:
Keep reading hereUncategorized | Comments Off
Here’s another excerpt from our book, Great Group Games: 175 Boredom Busting Zero Prep Team Builders for all Ages.
Time: 15 – 25 minutes
Supplies: one comic strip panel (make a copy of the strip for each group of 3-4 participants), one envelope for each group
This activity is good to give participants practice in communicating with other team members and in making group decisions. You will need a comic strip (duplicated so each work group has a copy), and one envelope for each subgroup. To prepare, photocopy enough copies of the comic strip to provide one for each work group. Cut each strip into separate panels and place the panels in an envelope.
Instruct the participants to form work groups of three to four members each. Distribute one envelope containing a set of comic strip panels to each team.
Direct the members of each team to open the envelope, place the panels of the comic strip face down without examining them, and shuffle them around the table. While the panels are on the table face down, hidden from view, members of each team take turns drawing a panel (without showing it to others), going around until all panels have been chosen. Team members are allowed to describe their own panels as fully as possible, but they are not allowed to look at the panels of the other participants or to show their panels to others.
When the team members have agreed on which panel is first in the cartoon (based on the participants’ descriptions of the panels), they place it face down on the table. After they have placed all the panels face down in the order they have determined, they then turn them over to see if they have sequenced the comic in the proper order.
§ What communication process was used to describe the panels?
§ What are the strengths and challenges of your communication style?
§ How did the team decide what panels went where?
§ Did you readily share your opinions, were you hesitant to share, or were you perhaps a bit too wordy in your sharing?
§ How might this activity challenge your group to more effectively work together in the future?
Assets: social competencies, commitment to learning, boundaries and expectationsCreative Play, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Here’s another warm-up for a new group during this back-to-school season. It’s from Great Group Games.
It’s Your Birthday
Time: 10-15 minutes
“Today is your birthday and this is your party! As hostess/host of this party you have to introduce as many of these people to each other as you possibly can.” After people have had a chance to mingle, do a quick hand count of who introduced the most people. To make it more challenging, see how many names people can remember. To make it more like a party, play some music as the people mingle.
Assets: support, social competencies, safetyCreative Play, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Back to School time equals start-up time for clubs, classes, sports teams and youth organizations. Playing GAMES with PURPOSE is a great way to kick off your year to a great start. You can find 175 ideas in our GREAT GROUP GAMES BOOK, but here is one name game to help your participant’s (and you!) learn everyone’s names:
Names in Action
· Time: 10 – 30 minutes
· Supplies: none
· One by one, each participant introduces herself to the rest of the group by putting a motion to each syllable of her name as she says it out loud. (For example: Crystal has 2 syllables in her name, so she puts her hands on her hips with “Crys” . . . and bobs her head with “tal.”)
· The group, in turn, repeats back the name with the action motion (affirming the person and solidifying the name in their heads).
· The next person goes. The group repeats their name/action and then repeats the name of the first person again.
· And so it goes until all action names have been done.
Variation: For the Brave and the Bold and Those Who Want to Have FUN
· After everyone has gone around and all names have been done, put on a compilation of music. Randomly yell out “do the Crystal!” or “do the George!” or whoever is in the group and everyone can dance around doing the motions of that particular person to the beat until you yell out the next person, then they change to that person’s motion action.
Do you ever hear families wishing they could serve together, but unable to figure out how to serve? Here is a great list off simple ways that families can serve together. Challenge your families to pick a starting place for this month, and they’ll probably get hooked on the practice of serving together.Service-Learning, Uncategorized | Comments Off
need some new ideas for incorporating reflection into learning or serving? try one of these:Educational Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off
A stage 2 game from Great Group Games
Time: 20 minutes
Supplies: index cards with compound words, one for each person
Make a set of index cards with compound words. For example, on one card write ‘peanut’, and on the other card write ‘butter’. On one card write ‘shoe’, and on the partnering card, write ‘lace’.
Shuffle the cards and randomly give everyone a card. When you give the cue, ask participants to hunt for their compound word partners. When everyone thinks they’ve found a partner, have them form a large circle, standing beside their compound partner. The group may need to problem solve & shuffle people around, because some words will have multiple possibilities for their partners.
§ How did you first respond to the task of finding your compound word partner?
§ What tactics helped you to succeed?
§ Did priorities and decision-making ever come into play?
§ If your word fit with multiple words, how did that make you feel?
§ If it took you an especially long time to find your word match, how did that make you feel?
§ How might these experiences apply to real life?
Assets: social competencies, positive identity, creative activitiesCreative Play, Uncategorized | Comments Off
We all need a little prompting to allow change to enter our lives sometimes…Practical Ideas, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Looking for creative ways to focus on character in your after school, school or home schooling group? Check this resource out:
Building Character From the Start
201 Activities to Foster Creativity, Literacy, and Play in K-3
Here is a brief description of the chapters included:
- Unit One: Finish the Pictures – Opportunities for children to draw and write stories that ‘finish the pictures’ on the page.
- Unit Two: Experiencing Books – 98 books that encourage self-expression, healthy relationships, creativity, and strong character. Each book connects to talking points and activities for further exploration.
- Unit Three: Masterpiece Creations – full of story starters, activities with food, and artistic explorations.
- Unit Four: Play and Move – games that promote literacy, creativity and play.
If you want to take a peek at our other books, click below:
- Great Group Games: 175 Boredom Busting, Zero Prep Team Builders for All Ages
- Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand
Building Character, Creative Literacy, Creative Play, Educational Resources, Uncategorized | Comments Off
How One Child Changed the World
In 1999, seven year old Ryan Hreljac’s first well was built in a Ugandan village. Now the Ryan’s Well Foundation has grown into a family of people committed to delivering access to safe water, as an essential way to improve the lives of people in the developing world. We empower citizens of all ages to take action and effect change in the world.Service-Learning, Uncategorized | Comments Off