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Mrs. Barto Wiley from Winston Salem NC is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Reading in the Dark: Using Film to Teach Literacy Skills

My students need DVDs and film reading textbooks.

  • $517 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

We start every day with a "How is everyone?" session which usually turns into a "No, really, how are you in your life right now?

I teach at a large urban high school that is one of the most diverse schools in the school district.

The school is socioeconomically and racially diverse. I am lucky to be able to teach English literature to both our amazing English as a Second Language students who are from 15+ countries and speak a variety of languages and our AP Literature and Composition to our high-achieving 12th grade students.

My Project

My students will build and practice essential literacy skills by learning to "read" film They will be able to identify and analyze types of shots, lighting, framing, focus, angels, etc. while transferring these skills to their reading of print texts. Film reading is my passion and I've always incorporated it into my classroom. I start every first day of the year by having my students "read" the opening sequence of Citizen Kane. The scene contains only one word "Rosebud" and the rest is a sequence of shots illustrating the setting from which we make inferences about characterization, setting, mood, point of view and symbol. Film reading piques their interest and hooks them. I will use the films and the film textbooks to teach and practice essential literacy skills in a way that keeps my students interested and keeps them reading.

When my students are engaged in "reading" film, I find they naturally employ the skills they acquire in this medium and use them while reading texts: they notice how the description of the setting develops the mood because they just verbally explained how the dank, dilapidated setting in Citizen Kane develops the film's mood within the first three minutes.

Understanding how media is created can help them become better readers and reveal the "tricks" of the media world to them.

Read More
Mrs. Barto Wiley
Grades 9-12
More than half of students from low‑income households

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12 donors12 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 120 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Film Art: An Introduction • Amazon Business $137.00 1 $137.00
Citizen Kane (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) • Amazon Business $44.94 1 $44.94
Cyrano de Bergerac • Amazon Business $36.75 1 $36.75
Great Films and How to Teach Them • Amazon Business $33.95 1 $33.95
Do the Right Thing [Blu-ray] • Amazon Business $12.97 1 $12.97
Double Indemnity • Amazon Business $12.74 1 $12.74
High Noon • Amazon Business $12.55 1 $12.55
The Grapes of Wrath • Amazon Business $12.49 1 $12.49
Frankenstein (Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection) • Amazon Business $9.91 1 $9.91
Rear Window • Amazon Business $9.07 1 $9.07
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition • Amazon Business $8.97 1 $8.97
Sunset Boulevard (1950) • Amazon Business $8.21 1 $8.21
The Color Purple • Amazon Business $7.42 1 $7.42
Life Is Beautiful • Amazon Business $6.59 1 $6.59
Roman Holiday (1953) • Amazon Business $5.97 1 $5.97
Casablanca 70th Anniversary: Special Edition (DVD) • Amazon Business $5.00 1 $5.00
North By Northwest • Amazon Business $4.99 1 $4.99
Rocky • Amazon Business $4.99 1 $4.99

Materials cost


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3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


12 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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