While watching a clip, students can associate a familiar image, such as a movie character, actor, or scene with the concept that they are learning. A student is more likely to remember Patrick's negotiation in SpongeBob SquarePants than a simulated negotiation made by a company. As a result, students will better retain the information from popular media examples.
In addition, because the primary purpose of TV shows and movies is to entertain, the clips will often be funny and straightforward. Using clips is a fun and easy way to incorporate humor into the classroom, which has been shown to boost retention. Educational references in TV shows and movies are purposely made easy to understand; otherwise, they will not appeal to their audience.
Even if your class doesn't focus on media literacy, students learn it through popular media. While watching a movie at home, we often come across educational references but may not notice them because the entertainment aspect of the work is overpowering. By exposing your students to more TV and movie clips, you train them to analyze clips and pick up on educational moments in them. As a result, they will become more aware of educational content when watching a movie or television show at their leisure, and thus learning will extend outside of the classroom.
Movie clips are versatile learning materials. This clip from The Simpsons can be used to teach concepts in Science, Language Arts, Business Operations, and many other topics. Therefore, by using popular media, we don't teach students only about a particular subject; we teach them how to think critically and analyze the videos they consume on a regular basis. And thus begs the question: What other lessons can students learn from a given clip that aren't quite so obvious?
Students' interest piques when they see aspects of their lives in class.
Students feel more connected to culturally-relevant material.
Students can associate familiar images, characters, or scenes with class concepts.
Media literacy and critical thinking are just two of the many skills that students practice.