1. Home Alone, 1990, 113 minutes
The youngest in a family of five siblings, Kevin McCallister finds himself home alone over the Christmas holidays after his family accidentally leaves for their holiday without him. Find out how Kevin copes with day-to-day occurrences and successfully prevents his house from being burgled by two crooks on Christmas Eve! Although mainly focused on the adventures of the boy who is ‘Home Alone’, this movie builds on the underlying value of family as the McCallister family reunites just in time for their Christmas celebrations.
Your child will be happy to know that a sequel, Home Alone 2, was released as well!
2. The Rookie of the Year, 1993, 103 minutes
An unexpected fall causes 12-year-old baseball fan and Little League player, Henry Rowengartner, to become an exceptionally accurate baseball pitcher. Recruited by the Chicago Cubs to play in the Major League Baseball Championship that season, this film shows how friendship and teamwork (and just the right amount of cheekiness) helps Henry and his teammates overcome the obstacles between them and winning the championship.
3. Andre, 1994, 95 minutes
Based on the book A Seal Named Andre, which was in turn based on a true story, this movie tells the story of Toni Whitney and her best friend, Andre. Andre is a seal the Whitney family had adopted when it was a pup. As Andre grows up, the Whitney family faces problems dealing with the playful seal and has to make a difficult decision on its continued stay in their home.
This movie will be particularly enjoyable for your child if he or she is an animal lover!
4. Little Giants, 1994, 107 minutes
Danny O’Shea has always felt inferior to his older brother, Kevin, who was a football star in college. After Kevin doesn’t accept Danny’s daughter after the try-outs for the local youth football team, Danny decides to challenge his brother by setting up his own football team. Follow Danny and his unlikely team of underdogs on their journey to overthrow Kevin’s star team, and the crowd favourites, in the ongoing football tournament.
Although this movie does touch slightly on sibling rivalry, it shows how perseverance and sheer determination go a long way in pursuing one’s dreams.
5. The Iron Giant, 1999, 87 minutes
Based on the 1968 novel, The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes, the movie is set during the Cold War in 1957. It tells the story of a boy who befriended a fifty-foot , metal-eating robot that had fallen from space. For the kids, the movie is a relatively straightforward one which focuses on the theme of friendship, but for the adults, The Iron Giant is full of great morals and hidden meanings that makes it one of our favourites!
Fun fact: This film was featured in our Primary English lessons as part of media studies!
For The Tweens
1. Jumanji, 1995, 104 minutes
A pair of siblings move into a new house and find an old board game in their attic. Follow their adventures as the jungle-themed game, Jumanji, comes to life! This movie also spawned a popular animated television series, and was adapted from a children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg.
If your child has a wild imagination and enjoys fantasy movies, this is definitely one he or she should catch!
2. The Parent Trap, 1998, 128 minutes
Having never met each other before, identical twins Hallie and Annie first run into each other during a summer camp. As it turns out, their parents had gotten a divorce when they were just a year old. Hallie was raised in America by their father while Annie had followed their mother to the United Kingdom. After realising the truth, the twins plan an identity swap and take each other’s places to create an opportunity for their parents to meet again in order to swap them back.
Apart from the mischievous streak in the twins, this movie captures the essence of sibling ties and the importance of family.
Did you know that a then 11-year old actress Lindsay Lohan played both the roles of Hallie and Annie?
For The Teen
1. Forrest Gump, 1994, 142 minutes
Based on a novel by Winston Groom of the same name, this heart-warming movie connects with audiences of every age. Despite being slow-witted, Forrest Gump was brought up by his mother to do the best he could with his abilities. With this famed quote in mind, ‘My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”’, follow Forrest through the significant events in his life and watch how his optimism tides him through trying times.
With a slight love story weaved in, this movie touches on how a positive attitude can change one’s outlook on life.
Media Studies – What Is It And Why Do We Include It In Our English Lessons?
During media studies, students watch a portion of a chosen film or documentary and then complete a short worksheet with several thought-provoking questions about the video’s contents. Through these video-based comprehensions, students apply critical thinking skills when they analyse the content, and subsequently compare and evaluate what they’ve watched against real-life occurrences.
Most of the questions also require students to use inferential thinking to derive the answers. The lesson also focuses on the structure of their responses, a valuable skill that will help them in other components in their English lessons such as the comprehension open-ended, which takes up a large weightage of marks in the English language paper.
Class discussions based on the themes in the video encourage our students to share their personal anecdotes and build on each other’s ideas. Teachers also prompt students to think about what was shared on a more critical level and often tie in related topics so students have a broader understanding of what was shared in the video.