Teach With Movies is a subscription-based website with teaching materials for over 200 movies, to help teachers and parents use films to begin discussions with children and teenagers about everything from understanding emotions and improving communication to making choices and recognizing narrative themes and symbols.
Their free samples include a guide to October Sky, one of my favorite films, based on the real-life story of a young boy from a West Virginia mining town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist. And their guide to Finding Nemo has some great ideas for talking to children about friendship and responsibility. It has good advice that applies to any movie or television show kids watch, a good reminder that media is most valuable when it is used to awaken ideas and start conversations.
Just talking with your child fosters verbal, social and emotional learning. You can talk about a movie at any time: right after it is over, in the car on the way to school, during quiet time, or before bed. — Ask about the story, the characters, and the plot. Keep it light and fun. — Always encourage your child to form opinions and to share them. — Exercise memory skills by asking about plot details. — Open-ended questions will help get a discussion going.