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The Teacher Tip

Exploring Scenes with Film

September 7, 2018

Adapted from Teaching Nonfiction Revision by Sneed B. Collard III & Vicki Spandel


Like books, films have scenes, and because films are visual, they can be helpful in teaching how scenes begin and end, what they include, and what they achieve.

  • Watch any short documentary film together, or assign a film on public television for viewing
  • Ask students to watch for clues that tell viewers when the focus is moving from one scene to another

As students are likely to notice, transitions from scene to scene on film are usually marked by noticeable changes in time or setting, and often by a shift in focus as well. Studying scenes visually helps many students define the concept of “scene” in their minds and understand how this concept applies to writing.


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