Web Site Offers Lessons Drawn From the Movies

By Sean Cavanagh — October 17, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For years, James A. Frieden was fond of watching the movies he most admired—“Gandhi” and “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb,” to name just two—with his three sons, now grown, not just as entertainment, but for the lessons they offered about civil rights, the Cold War, and other topics.

Teachers can use the Web site to expand their lessons. —Courtesy of teachwithmovies .com

Teachers can use the Web site to expand their lessons.

Mr. Frieden and his wife, Deborah W. Elliott, eventually came to believe there was a demand among parents, as well as school officials, for more structured lessons, and character development, through film. About a decade ago, the couple created “Teach With Movies,” an Internet-based service that offers ideas for lessons in history, science, health, ethics, and other subjects to teachers and other subscribers. Teachers have used movies in classes for years to reinforce lessons; the Web site, Mr. Frieden says, is designed to help them organize and expand on those discussions.

Subscribers pay $11.99 a year. They receive links to 270 movies, from such classics as “To Kill a Mockingbird” to contemporary works like “October Sky.” Links are provided to articles on historical and other relevant topics covered in the films, to Web sites, and to analyses of the movies. The movies are screened for content, and warnings are included on the site about sex and violence.

The site has about 7,000 subscribers, 80 percent of them teachers, Mr. Frieden said. He and Ms. Elliott gather suggestions for films from subscribers.

Mr. Frieden, a lawyer, has no direct connection to K-12 schools, except for occasional volunteer stints. He hardly considers himself a movie junkie. “I know more about the stars that my mother loved,” he confessed, “Greta Garbo, Clark Gable—than I do about movie stars today.”

The Web site is

A version of this article appeared in the October 18, 2006 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum How Florida's New School Librarian Training Defines Off-Limits Materials
School librarians will soon have to seek parent approval to order new books, and have to avoid books considered "indoctrination."
3 min read
Books line shelves in a high school library Monday, October 1, 2018, in Brownsville, Texas. The Brownsville Independent School District announced having been awarded a multi-million-dollar grant to revitalize libraries to encourage reading by school-aged children to improve literacy skills. It was stated in the meeting that money could also be used to replace aging furniture in some of the district's libraries.
Books line shelves in a high school library in Brownsville, Texas in 2018. In Florida, school librarians will be required to complete training this year that will include how to seek parent approval before they can purchase new books for school libraries and classrooms.
Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP
Curriculum What the Research Says How an Attention-Training Program Can Make Teens Better Drivers
A driving simulation created to tune up attention skills in young drivers with ADD could have wider benefits.
6 min read
Driver Training Simulator
A student uses a driving trainer simulator to sharpen attention skills.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Curriculum Q&A You Can Teach About Climate Change in Every Subject and Grade Level. Here's How
Math, foreign language, even art classes offer opportunities to build students' knowledge.
8 min read
Tree growing from a book with education icons floating above, focusing on climate change and curriculum
Curriculum Media Literacy in Schools: 7 Ways the Subject Has Evolved
A handy guide about media literacy to get up to speed on the topic.
3 min read
Photo of computer and newspapers.
iStock / Getty Images Plus