Project Overview

Student Learning Objectives


Content Material


Links to Course Competencies

Supplementary Resources

Recommendations for Integration



Real World Learning Objects: Language Arts

Writing a Short Film Review


Time: 2 70-minute sessions

Materials: computers with Adobe Flash 8+ Player, Internet access, student directions, rubric

Prerequisites: students need to have a clear understanding of a paragraph structure

Implementation: All but two elements (viewing and publishing) of this RWLO can be implemented during class time whether each student has or has no access to a computer and/or Internet. If students do not have access to computers or Internet in class, they will have to watch films and publish their reviews as out-of-class activities.


Instructor preparation:

Get comfortable with AtomFilms website Try to anticipate any problems that students may encounter with this site. After watching several films, write a one-paragraph review of one of them.


Prior to the class:

Let your students get familiar with AtomFilms website. Explain that they will write a film review for one of the videos on this website. Make students aware of different categories of films available: comedy, drama, action, animation, extreme. (Music category contains music video clips not films). Students can choose On the Spotlight >Greatest Hits to see a list of most popular AtomFilms (

Ask students to watch several films and write a list of 3 to 5 films that they liked the most.


Class Session 1 (1 hour 10 minutes):

Goal: Students will brainstorm ideas and draft a one-paragraph film-review.


1. Ask students to fast write about their writing purpose and intended audience. See activity: What is a film review?


2. Give students 10-15 minutes to discuss their answers in groups or/and as a class. If you opt for group discussions only, monitor for misconceptions and lack of ideas.


3. Based on the discussion results, ask students to choose a film from their list for review.


4. Give students 10-15 minutes to brainstorm ideas for their review. If their chosen film is short (most of them are 3 to 10 minutes long), they can watch the film while they are brainstorming ideas. (Students should use headphones.) See Review Brainstorming.


5. Outlining (5-10 minutes):

Based on the results of the brainstorming session, ask students to form a specific claim that represents their opinion of the film. If students struggle with it, offer them a sentence template, such as:

I _____________ “Title”, a short film by Author because ___________________.


Ask them to list details that illustrate their opinion and decide in what order they should appear in the paragraph. Ask students to share their claim and details with others in their group. Encourage listeners to ask questions if they get interested in or confused about other people’s ideas.


6. Drafting (20 minutes):

Ask students to turn their outline (a claim and a list of details) into a paragraph and add more details, explanations, and recommendations if necessary.



Students may finish drafting at home. Give students a self-evaluation handout to check their paragraphs for unity, support, coherence, and sentence skills and revise their rough draft based on the self-evaluation results.



Session 2 (1 hour and 10 min.):

Goal: Students will read each other's paragraphs and evaluate them according to the rubric provided by the instructor.


1. Rubric Alignment (15-20 minutes):

Before the peer review, use your own film review (a rough draft, not a polished version) as a model to conduct a rubric alignment. All students should get a copy of the model paragraph and a rubric. It's better to give one rubric per group, so students can collaborate during evaluation. Ask students to read the review and assess it using the rubric. Compare students' evaluations with the instructor's and discuss any discrepancies or questions.


2. Peer Review (15-20 minutes):

Ask students to use the same rubric to evaluate one of their classmates' reviews. Use questioning and active listening to facilitate the peer review process and moderate any possible problems, confusions, or disputes. After filling out the rubric, students should discuss the results with their partners.


3. Revising and Editing (20-25 minutes):

Based on the results of the peer review, students should revise their paragraphs if necessary.


4. Publishing:

Give students a handout "How to publish a review" that explains how they can register with Atom Films and post a review.