At MBIS we promote this more recent learning method. That is why when English language and literature students of MYP 5 knew that they were going to take ownership of their own learning by producing a film on the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, that they are currently studying in class, they were elated and looked forward to the project with enthusiasm. The entire translation of the script to suit a modern day context while keeping in mind the author’s intention was of utmost importance, and students did it brilliantly.
The onus was on the students to produce the entire film on their own but it is always tempting for a teacher to point out every detail that students do not seem to get right during any learning process. This was not an exception. The language students assigned themselves different roles to play corresponding to the characters in the novel, as well as responsibilities for the filming process, and every one of them was outstanding in their roles. With Anish and Jay being assigned the role of directors, Anish playing the lead actor, Kunal playing another major character and Anmol leading the team of cinematography, the stage was set for filming. “We think this location will bring our message out better,” that was Ofir’s response when my teacher instinct to lead posed the question, “Why don’t you use the other side of the building?” So the students had an experience that they led themselves and were able to point out their mistakes in the process.
The screening of the film was the best part of this learning process. You could see students’ faces beaming with pride and satisfaction. Their eagerness to press the play button on the video did not go unnoticed and as the video played, their reaction just got better. When learning brings such enjoyment and satisfaction then it is clear evidence that desired results have been achieved. The agility of the students was not limited to the production process but it was evident looking at how active the audience was during the screening; the laughter and emotional response said it all.