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Lights! Cameras! Action! An Alternative Course for High School English: Movies as Literature – Grades 8-12 – Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 – 20 Weeks

Tuesday, October 5 2021 @ 3:00PM Tuesday, March 15 2022 @ 4:30PM EDT


Jonathan Meola

Instructor Email:

[email protected]


8 – 12

Day of Week:


Class Times:

3:00PM – 4:30PM (ET)


Fall 2021/Winter 2022


Tuesday, October 5 2021 @ 3:00PM EDT
Tuesday, March 15 2022 @ 4:30PM EDT
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Virtual (Jigsaw/Canvas)
+1 203 741 8570
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13 people are attending Lights! Cameras! Action! An Alternative Course for High School English: Movies as Literature – Grades 8-12 – Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 – 20 Weeks

Camera!  Movies!  Action!  In this complete, one-year high school English course, we will combine learning with fun!   Together, we will use classic movies to introduce and study the elements of literary analysis and critical thinking.  We will view a variety of historical, classic and modern movies.  The movies themselves take the place of literature, acknowledging the reality that this is the medium for storytelling most accessible to modern audiences. Preparation for discussion and the discussion itself teaches students many of the tools of literary analysis such as plot development, theme, foreshadowing, setting, mood, character development, symbolism, the author’s purpose, point of view, motivation, puns, and irony. The analysis includes other aspects applicable to film such as staging and dramatic effects. After discussion, students are given two or three questions from which they will choose one as the subject for an essay.

Student are expected to know how to write a five-paragraph essay.  Yes, we will review essay writing; however, very briefly.  Typically, it is best, but not required, if a student has a year of MSW or AAE before taking this course.

Please note that there is an option for students to receive this class as an HONORS credit.  There are three extra assignments to be done, which are due by class 11, class 15 and class 20.             

Students will watch the movies prior to the class discussion on that movie.  EVERYONE IS EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION; therefore, class attendance is a vital component; however, we do understand emergencies.  It is just that students will receive the greatest benefit if they attend the class as it is in session.   Following the discussion, where we analyze the various literary elements, students will have some analysis questions from where they will choose a subject for an essay.   Expected turn around for watching movie, class discussion, assignment is every two weeks.

This class is worth 1 credit of English or Elective.

You can expect approximately three  hours of homework weekly.

NOTE: Registration deadline is September 15, 2021.

There must be a minimum of 5 students to run this class.

Beyond Grateful

Rated 5 out of 5
June 18, 2021

During our family new year’s celebration, everyone completed a year-in-review questionnaire. One question asked, “What are you most proud of that you accomplished this past year?”
Without hesitation, our daughter blurted out “I learned to write a five-paragraph essay!”
Our daughter, who up until this past semester would only write science lab reports, should be proud of this accomplishment. She willingly dedicated days to completing required essays, and we owe this success to Lights! Camera! Action! class.
The instructor’s enthusiasm, instruction, encouragement and feedback all generated a newfound level of confidence within our daughter. Plus, the course spurred everyone in our family (including grandparents) to watch incredible movies, which normally would not be in our Netflix queue. The impact of this course reached beyond our daughter.

Avatar for L.R., Florida
L.R., Florida

Thank you!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 18, 2021

I would like to say thank you. My daughter, Laura, was so inspired by OTA’s Lights! Camera! Action! class. She WANTS to improve at writing instead of shying away from the process that she finds so difficult. She is putting her heart and soul into trying. I am seeing improvement and I am seeing enthusiasm that just were not there before. You have no idea how joyful that makes me. This latest essay was really, really hard but a bit less overwhelming than the prior two. Slowly the elements that Laura is learning in class are sinking in.
I appreciate all that you do for the class! Thank you!

Avatar for J.C., Vermone
J.C., Vermone

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