Wes Anderson

Although practicum has been busy, it has been good. There are days where I feel completely on top of things, and days that I learn from. I have found that my two best weapons are creativity and time management. The former comes naturally. The latter I have learnt.

My media studies associate teacher has allowed me free reign in his year 10 media studies class. I am so blessed. The idea I (with help from said AT) was to do a close reading unit combined with a Wes Anderson Auteur theory study, I love Wes Anderson. Teaching this unit has been so fun and I am enjoying it just as much as the students are.

I will be sharing my lessons here: what I did and a few resources. This unit could easily be adapted to another film/director, and it could also be adapted to a English unit.

The unit begun with a showing of the film Moonrise Kingdom. Moonrise Kingdom is rich with symbolism, colour, meaning, visual effect, and of course – Wes Anderson.

The students responded really well to the filming, meaning that they would respond to the rest of the unit too – perfect!

The first lesson after viewing the film was a close viewing lesson in which students were put into groups and had to analyse features of the scene. The scene I chose was the pen pals scene. A montage of the love story between Sam and Suzy up until this point. The audience is told not only that they ran away together, but why they ran away.

I played the clip once and asked them to just watch. Then I played it again asking each group to look at one aspect of the scene. The aspects were costume and props, cinematography, diegetic sound, non diegetic sound, editing, and lighting. The students were to write notes and then comment on the aspect and explain the effects. I played the clip a few more times so their answers were thorough.

The ideas that they came up with were hugely insightful and as they shared, each student was to write notes – encouraging collaboration.

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