Spark Student Motivation: Pixar Shorts

Happy Saturday! I’m linking up with my BBB Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching to share an AWESOME way to motivate your students to practice storytelling!

Pixar short films are awesome for kids and adults!! They are always so funny, and they are WORDLESS. The lessons you can do with these films are endless. As you know, we are working on writing our snow globe stories, so in preparation, I played the Pixar short, Knick Knack. I did actually find one on YouTube where the girls didn’t have huge boobs! (This was a problem for me last year, so I just played the short off of my Finding Nemo DVD.)

My students “took notes” of things they thought were important to the story as they watched the short three different times. (And they totally wanted to watch it AGAIN but I decided three was good…) We talked about the several ways that this story could be told- from the snowman’s point of view, from the girl’s point of view, from a narrator’s point of view… we also talked about how Pixar had to “write” the story first before creating the movie, so we were pretending to be Pixar storytellers. But let me tell you…….. even after all this talk, when they got with their partners, I can count on one hand how many students DIDN’T start their story with, “So there was this snowman in a snow globe who wanted to get out…” ACK!!! I stopped everyone right then and there. I realized what they all wanted to do was to summarize the film. I reminded them that they were telling a story, and then I modeled how I would do it by telling just the start of the story:

Do you ever wonder what the knick knacks on your shelf are doing when you aren’t watching? Well in the case of one snowman, he only wanted to get out of his snow globe prison and experience the freedom his summer pals had, including one beautiful bikini model. As he stared out at his friends, the point of his carrot nose came into view. He thought, “this just may be sharp enough!” He pulled the carrot from his face and, with a hammer, tried to break the glass. Sadly, all he had to show for his attempt was a crooked nose placed back upon his face…

I stopped there and reminded them we want to be entertained when we hear a story, and although we all have seen the movie, you would want someone to be able to visualize what was happening in the story. As they turned back to their partner, the stories that were told were ten times better! I encourage you to try this with your class. There are some great shorts that can be used any time of the year, like La Luna, One Man Band, Day & Night, and Presto, to name a few!

I also am excited to share the winners of my Blogiversary Giveaway!! Congrats to Rachel for winning the Amazon Gift Card!! And congrats to AMC, Lana, and Allison for winning $30 to spend in my TPT store! I have already sent you an email! :o)
a Rafflecopter giveaway