Movies act like super-texts. They present information in an auditory and visual manner. Dialogue and plot details must be considered, filtered and used to form the basis of predictions and evaluative statements about the movie.
Our students are connecting text-to-text, text-to-world and text-to-self when they watch movies - the key is to draw out those connections during or after the viewing. Plus, we are giving them another text from which future connections can be forged.
For some of our students, movies are familiar and safe. No one putting them on the spot for a correct answer. No forced writing activities on topics they have little interest in. Sit, back and enjoy the show - but of course, there could be pre-, during and even post-activities to tackle when the credits begin.
When considering what movies are appropriate and sensible to show in your classroom, consult http://www.kids-in-mind.com/. This website is a database of movies and a play-by-play of the content using examples and a numbered rating system. From this information, a more informed and confident decision can be made about whether the movie will work and match the learning needs of your students.
Not just for rainy days or supply teachers, movies can unlock your student's potential for acquiring literacy skills, engaging in their learning, and all the while, feeling entertained.