Movies and Language Learning

Whether it’s Disney’s Frozen or Pixar’s Finding Dory, going to the movie theater is one of most common activities that children do with their parents. And what’s not to love? Popcorn, cute characters, and a memorable experience for both you and your child.

Did you know you can work on furthering your child’s language skills just by going to a movie? All you have to do is talk about it afterward!

A movie consists of so many aspects of language: describing, sequencing, comparing/contrasting, main idea, parts of a story, vocabulary. And the list goes on! Here are just a few ideas:

  • Describing: Talk about the characters and the setting. Discuss what adjectives we can use to describe people and the places around us. Compare how people/characters are the same or different.
  • g. Dory and Marlin are both fish. Dory is blue, forgetful, and friendly; whereas, Marlin is orange, mindful, and cautious.
  • Sequencing: What happened first in the movie? What happened last? Use words such as before, after, first, second, last, next, then, etc.
    • Ex: After their parents passed away, Elsa became queen.
  • Parts of a story: Beginning, middle, end, characters, setting, plot, resolution, ending are some of the words used when talking about a storyline. A higher-level task could be problem solving with your child about how the ending could alter if a character changed or didn’t complete a certain action.
  • Wh-questions / Main idea: Ask your child questions about what they just saw. What, where, who, when, why, how? What was the overall point or message of the movie?
    • Ex: Frozen- Who are the main characters? Elsa, Anna
    • Ex: Finding Dory- Where does the movie take place? In the ocean; Marine Biology Institute
  • Vocabulary: You can incorporate object function, synonyms and antonyms, and categories into your conversation as well. What category of movie is? Scary? Funny? You can use the synonyms or antonyms to describe the characters too – was he careful or spontaneous, forgetful or attentive?

These are just a few ideas for you to get started. Grab a movie from Redbox, get that bag of popcorn in the microwave, and enjoy

-Shannon Greenlee M.A., CCC-SLP

**If you have any concerns with your child’s speech, language, hearing and/or feeding development, please contact Curlee Communication Consultants at (865) 693-5622. We have a team of experienced speech-language pathologists that would love to meet with you and discuss options for your child. **