This blog is about movie and TV-themed stuff. So part of my ideation process is to think of a word, add Hollywood as a prefix and see if it works.
Today’s post is Hollywood themed activities for classrooms. Or how to use a learning space to think up decor ideas than cover lesson plans.
There’s a lot of movies (all Disney and that includes Pixar) that come to mind straight away that can act as the theme.
There’s enough here to make a big list, thank goodness.
Let’s jump into the actual activity list. That way we’ll have a foundation to build on with classroom decorations and music and so on.
The most obvious one. Pop in a tape, slide in a disc, plug in a USB, sell your soul and go to piratebay (20 minutes beforehand), log in to your streaming service, whatever.
There’s the task of figuring out which movie to show. But with streaming services, that’s not an issue.
Unless of course, you’re building a bunch of activities around the theme. Then you need to be prepared.
The actual theme can be anything. We have Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks giving us a bunch of ideas to start off.
But that’s kinda easy right. Pick a random successful animated movie, tell them to shut up and start the screening.
But if you were to play something like Pixar’s Coco or Disney’s Moana, you open up a few possibilities.
This becomes a gateway to building an entire afternoon worth of activities.
You can even go retro. The fact that Disney has remade many of their classic animated movies to live-action features recently, is great.
You can add Jungle Book to that list. It’s a great excuse to go for a jungle theme for the classroom decoration.
The one I’d totally recommend is a screening of any Hayao Miyazaki movie (not The Wind Rises) as a way to build a bunch of classroom activities around.
They are the best ways to introduce eco-friendly themes. Ponyo, for instance, has a bit about conserving marine life. Finding Nemo is better in that regard, but they might have seen it already.
Princess Mononoke is great for introducing deforestation. My Neighbor Totoro is great to introduce the idea of people and animals living in harmony.
Note: Many of the Disney movies or Disney-owned property are being pulled from streaming services like Netflix or Prime.
This is probably in preparation for the launch of Disney Plus, their own streaming service.
It’s probably a bit too much to go into movie history. Stick to questions about relatively new property and you’ll get a giddy bunch of excited kids bursting to let you know how much they know.
Good luck with classroom management though.
I found this page that had a lot of good questions on Disney filmography. The problem is that it may be a bit too classic Disney. The kids may not be cool with that.
So use the format, vary the property.
So this is revolutionary. But maybe line the path with Hollywood stars of fame? Pretty Hollywood-y right?
Or it can be a yellow brick road and use a movie that has that for the screening.
We all have our favorite Oscar awards shows. There are crazy, emotional speeches, good hosts, great mid-event shows.
There’s been pretty bad content too. But it’s a great event to build a classroom activity around.
Have a few become kids, some dance as entertainment and others improvise acceptance speeches.
You can use any Hollywood-themed decor for this. And the variations are endless.
If you have a fake award night, why not go one obvious step further and have a fake award.
Most likeliest to trip on the stairs, I dunno if that sounds mean. Sleepiest kid on the block. I’m getting award ideas just popping into my head as I’m typing, all of them quite terrible.
There are a lot of pet-themed movies you can use to introduce a pet-themed activity. Marley and Me comes to mind. Although there may be tears (everyone with a soul will cry).
Or if the quality is not an issue, Garfield 2? Or Beethoven 2. Did they come out with a third, who knows?
Movie specific ideas
Then there are those that can be taken from the actual movie you screened. Maybe show Finding Nemo, and guess which fish cutout you’re holding up.
Making the cutouts is part of the fun if you outsource it to the kids. That’s right, outsource. Prepare them for the real world. Maybe pick the great barrier reef specifically.
If you were to base it on a movie like My Neighbor Totoro, you can have a drawing competition. Make your own forest spirit!
Miyazaki has the greatest art concepts. Look at the forest spirits in the movie, even the scary ones, you’ll notice their design is quite simple. Yet very distinct. Get the kids thinking the same way.
Use of basic shapes to create a very distinct creature.
The Hollywood sign
Sticking with arts and crafts, you can have the kids get a genuine, life-size Hollywood sign together. Great way to start off drama class.
Have them make the sign that stands for the glitz and glamour. Not the art of acting or putting work into your craft.
Hollywood theme decorations
What’s a fun activity without first setting up the room to look the part. So I have a few great ideas to deck out the room just right.
Depending on the actual activity, the decorations will have to change too.
Generic movie decor
If the theme is movies and Hollywood in general (why take the extra effort right?), you can use these balloons.
For movie screenings, have popcorn balloons hung up. Outsource!!
And the little matter of the heartbreaking way growing up is shown in the movies. Still, haven’t watched Toy Story 4.
Pity. I couldn’t find balloons for the balloon movie, Up. Damn you Pixar, so many emotions.
There are also cutouts from various movies you can use to spruce up the room. Something like this. Obviously, that’s a collectible, but cutouts like that will add a little flavor.
Outsource AKA activity time.
Have them work on cutouts at their desks. You can use them as a door decoration. Plus, you can always have lanterns themed after the movie to brighten up the place.
Movies like Finding Nemo ensures everyone’s working with bright colors, which is a big plus.
Though I’m rather proud of this list, I get the feeling I’ve missed out on a lot of ideas. Especially in the movie-specific sections.
Surely, there are movies like Moana that can open up discussions not necessarily movie-specific.
So I’m outsourcing my work. To you.
What are some of the ideas that popped into your head? Let me know in the comments. And I’ll happily steal your ideas.