FILM EDUCATION, the charity funded by the UK film industry to provide free educational materials, training and events for schools on film topics, has released two new resources for primary teachers.
One is an interactive CD-Rom and website with activities designed to deepen children's understanding of E B White's much-loved novel Charlotte's Web.
The other is an interactive online resource to complement Luc Besson's film Arthur and the Invisibles, about a 10-year-old boy with a quest to recover stolen treasure from an evil wizard. Both materials are designed for children aged five to 11.
Paramount Pictures' film adaptation of Charlotte's Web was released in cinemas on February 9. The CD-Rom was sent to 23,000 primary schools last month in anticipation of the launch.
"The point of our resources is to give teachers a tool to place film alongside the written word in the classroom," explains Julie Green, education director at Film Education. "It's a way into the written text, but it's also teaching children about the craft of film-making. Children love film - it's a great springboard to the written word.
"In Charlotte's Web, the focus is to give them assets from the film - moving images and still images - which they can compare with the original novel.
"Arthur and the Invisibles is also a way into a narrative. It's a very fantastical story to spark children's imaginations but also to learn about film-making and animation in particular."
The Charlotte's Web resources address literacy, ICT, drama, personal and social education and citizenship.
A range of classroom activities and tasks explore the process of adaptation from written word to moving image. Teaching notes cover lesson plans, group activities and tips, while downloadable worksheets and games include a cross-word, word search and Sudoku.
The Arthur and the Invisibles material uses the film as its focus for work on literacy, art and design, PSE and citizenship. The website features a fact-and-fiction quiz as well as teaching notes, lesson plans and worksheets.
Film Education has delivered teacher focus groups in Edinburgh and Glasgow and hopes to exhibit at the Scottish Learning Festival in September.
"Our remit is to generate a cine-literate audience - a more critically aware audience that will question what they go and see - as well as promoting the creative use of film as a form of self-expression," says Mrs Green.
Any teachers interested in receiving future materials relevant to their subject area and year group can join Film Education's mailing list on its website.