Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2014;15(3):39-64.
Published online December 30, 2014.
Approaching Narrative Text with a Film Director's Mindset: Producing Real and Imagined Scenes in the Secondary English Classroom
Koval Matthew, Brown Alan
This article presents a qualitative action research project that took place in a twelfth grade English class in the southeastern United States during a two week unit on narrative text and film. The purpose of this study was to examine how adopting a film director's mindset could impact students' reading of narrative text. The proposed director's mindset tool, a pedagogical approach for examining filmic images and establishing basic cinematic understandings, provides a visual method to help students examine textual narratives, including formal elements of literature (e.g., characterization, point of view, setting, imagery, and mood), and describe their visualizations through the language and conventions of film. Data sources include a text pre/post-inventory, a film pre/post-inventory, a film-to-text translation exercise, a director's mindset exercise, individual and group Instagram projects, and a director's mindset evaluation. Findings suggest that the use of film can enhance students' recognition of formal literary elements, visualization of narrative text, and methods for creative interpretation. To prepare students for the media-dominated world beyond their academic classrooms, the authors propose the use of the director's mindset tool as an approach for helping students comprehend and evaluate the copious images that play a part in their everyday lives.
Key Words: director's mindset;film;literature;media literacy;multimodal learning;visualization
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