Meeting the Greek Gods with Percy Jackson
I’ve always maintained that movies are great springboards for classroom discussions. The flick Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is definitely one of these movies. The story revolves around a young boy who discovers he is half man, half god and is accused of stealing his uncle Zeus’ lightning bolt. Through the adventures of Percy one gets to appreciate Greek mythology and ancient history.
Whilst I try to avoid recommending movies over books, I realize that for some learners, the visual stimulation of movies really just works better. Through movies I find myself able to get the students in a more active discussion, compared to me just telling the story or lecturing about things.
A few questions I keep in mind when choosing a film, however, are the following:
1. How accurate is the information in the film?
2. Does the storyline benefit the discussion in class?
3. Is this of interest to my students?
Overall, I often pick more modern movies as compared to old documentaries because it is more able to capture the attention of the viewer. I am not discounting the value of documentaries and classics but sometimes, students are just not able to relate to them.
Here are some movies I enjoy using in my classes and it’s corresponding theme/topic for discussion:
- Human Development
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Love, Relationships and Interpersonal Skills
- Love Actually
- Valentine’s Day
- The Story of Us
- Leadership and Self-Awareness
- Gran Torino
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