Using Pixar films in the ELA classroom is an engaging way to review literary terms. Have you tried short films in your classroom before to teach and review literary terms? Oh my goodness, it is so much fun! I love using the Pixar films in my class because they are quick, funny and an engaging way to intrigue my students to learn.
One of the first items I like to review during the school year is literary devices because we use them all year long. However, you can use this type of activity at any time of the year! I have never been a write-the-notes-from-the-board type of teacher, as I find this technique anticlimactic and rather boring. In addition, the kids do not learn anything from just copying notes. It is the application of a skill that is the most important. This is why I incorporated Pixar films in the ELA classroom.
Short Films in the English Language Arts Classroom
My two favorite short films are because they are great for characterization and inference:
If you are looking for short films for plot and plot structure, check these out:
Cocoon is also perfect for irony and characterization!
The nice part is you can find so many of these short films right on YouTube. You can just Google the list of “Pixar Short Films”, and they will give you a lengthy list. In addition, any of you who are 1:1 with iPads or Chrome Books, you can create a link in Google classroom, and it can take the students directly to the YouTube videos.
Tips for Your Classroom
One of my greatest tips for using these films is to only teach or use ONE to TWO literary terms per film. Having the student identify ten devices in one film is tricky, and it may overwhelm your students. I usually do a quick mini-lesson on one-two terms, and then give the students this worksheet to use while they are watching the film.
I also created an Inference worksheet to use with the short film, Partly Cloudy. Here it is:
Are you looking for some other English Language ideas for your classroom. Check out some of these blog posts!
I hope you find these activities engaging in your classroom. Be sure to follow me on social media to receive up-to-date resources, tips and ideas!