A Teacher's Guide to The Academy Awards
by Frank W. Baker (Copyright 2014)
Even though many students
may not have seen all of the Oscar-nominated films, they can
still view the trailers for
the films and read about them online. Trailers are considered persuasive texts because they are designed to pique
the interest of the audience, sometimes months ahead of a film’s release date. Teachers may wish to consider
having students create their own trailers. For more on trailers as persuasive texts, see my web page.
If your students have seen any of the nominated titles, they can be tasked with writing reviews which could be posted
online. If students have never written a film review, then this is a perfect opportunity to expose them to sample reviews
written by film critics. They can also consider whether or not a particular review helps or hurts a film’s attendance.
Students could also look for excerpts from published reviews which have now been incorporated into the marketing
poster or commercial for a nominated film.
Before starting a unit on the awards, you might wish to use these questions to jump start a lesson with your students:
1. What are the Academy Awards?
2. What organization disseminates them?
3. Who selects which movies get nominated?
4. What are the specific categories of nominated films?
5. Who gets to vote for the nominated films?
6. How do film studios promote their film(s) to the voting members of the Academy? (consider also: social media)
7. Does box office revenue have any role in nominated films—in other words: do movies with large audiences have any
better chances of getting recognized than films with smaller audiences?
8. Does box office increase after a film is nominated or wins an Academy Award?
9. Who gets to attend the annual Academy Awards ceremony?
10. Why does this annual film rite get so much attention?
Do films get a box-office bump from Oscar? / Oscar’s Best-Picture Candidates Seek Box-Office Bumps
Full list of 2014 Academy Award nominations
Frank's Motion Picture/Film Study webpage / Language of Film website/ Scriptwriting In The Classroom webpage
Media Literacy: Teaching The Oscars / AMPAS Media Literacy Film Study Guides
Meeting Common Core Standards With Film: Comparing The Book with its Film Version
For Your Consideration: Studying Movie Marketing Ads During Awards Season
Film In The Classroom (NYT)
DOWNLOAD: Oscar-nominated screenplays; Listen to All 5 Tunes Nominated for the 'Best Original Song' Oscar
BOOK: 85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards
The Film Canon Project
The Carpetbagger (NY Times); The Envelope (LA Times)
Teachers Look to Film to Foster Critical Thinking
Seven Teaching Resources on Film Literacy
Part One and Part Two of an Interview With Frank on Teaching the Oscars
Teaching Students About Film Careers & Cinema Literacy
Essay: Movies Are Not History (And They Will Never Be)
Books About Film; Lesson Plans About Film
Frank Baker's Media Literacy Clearinghouse homepage