"Life" in Moviesby: Michael L. Berumen

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As biology teachers, we should embrace the ever-increasing appearance of biology in movies and other media as an opportunity to engage students in active learning and to facilitate critical-thinking and investigative skills in the classroom. In this article, the author provides examples and strategies from his experience using popular movies in classes ranging from kindergarten to university-level courses. These strategies aim to convert students’ enthusiasm for cinema into science learning experiences that develop their ability to discover science in their everyday lives.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Mon May 14, 2012 9:35 PM

Great article reviews the pros and cons of using movies to teach biology concepts. The article contains great higher order example questions for several popular movies at different grade levels, and it even offers a brief lists of other movies for consideration. I especially liked that the author reminds the reader that sometimes the power of the movie can be found in shorter clips, and not just by viewing the entire movie. Overall a great resource for any teacher considering using movies to teach biology.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:19 PM

This magazine article from The Science Teacher emphasizes the use of popular movies in teaching Biology. Using electronic media to gain students' interest is a smart strategy. The article provides helpful information for teaching Science with use of movies as a catalyst for student interest and participation. It is well written.

James Arimond  (Sarasota, FL)
James Arimond (Sarasota, FL)

  • on Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:54 PM

The author suggests carefully selecting and showing popular movies in the classroom to stimulate students to ask questions about biological topics. He brainstorms questions with his classes during and after showing these movies and then has them research to find their own answers to share with the class. What a wonderful way to get students thinking about an activity they do all the time. It stimulates critical thinking skills as well as self-discovery. I show popular movies in my classes periodically throughout the year, but I ask questions of my students to point out the science without letting them question back and I think I will remove a few of my questions to add in a few of theirs. Wonderful idea, but, unfortunately, the author limits his focus to biology - think of the possibilities in other topic areas (and for additional ideas on this, Bick on Flicks at http://www.nsta.org/publications/blickonflicks.aspx)

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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