Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding "Is This a Dagger Which I See Before Me?" Comparing Film Versions of "Macbeth" 2.1.44-77. - Section 2: A Day at the Movies: Introducing Students to the Language of Film


I rarely show movies in my classes. Simply, while I want a class to be entertaining, entertainment is not the end-game for me. Showing a full-length feature film takes too much time. Moreover, students are typically only passively engaged when watching a movie, and since cell phones are now such a big distraction among students, movie time is synonymous with texting time.

That said, I do believe there is a time and place for movies, particularly when teachers choose to focus on teaching students to analyze film, which is something we can do with clips, and YouTube makes that very easy to accomplish. 

There are over 20 different filmic versions of Macbeth, so when choosing clips we have many options. The experience of learning we desire should guide our choices. For example, one year I may focus on choosing films that reimagine Macbeth in unique ways; another year I may focus on filmed stage productions; still another year I may want a different focus. 

Whatever choice I make, ultimately, I want students to view film as having a point of view that may differ from their reading, so we should never relinquish our interpretation to a film. 

  Movies in the ELA Classroom
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Movies in the ELA Classroom
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"Is This a Dagger Which I See Before Me?" Comparing Film Versions of "Macbeth" 2.1.44-77.

Unit 8: Oh, Horror! Horror! Horror! "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: SWBAT compare and analyze three film versions of the bloody dagger scene based on sound, language, physical and camera elements.

Big Idea: Directors make interpretive decisions that affect viewers' perceptions of texts.

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11 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Film (Dramatic Arts), Dramatic Arts, Classics (Literature), Macbeth, Roman Polanski, Ian McClellan, Patrick Stewart, film analysis, literarture
  52 minutes
bloody dagger in
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