by Mike Lesko | Reporter
Streetsboro -- Andrea Murray, a sixth-grade social studies and science teacher at Henry Defer Intermediate School, recently used some movie clips from the History Channel about the origins and cultures of Halloween.
"We were studying the cultural history of Halloween," she said. "We were talking about how Halloween came from ancient times, how it was brought to the United States and how it became the celebration it is today."
Streetsboro teachers showing movies in their classrooms is made possible by a Movie Licensing USA agreement, which the Streetsboro Board of Education approved Oct. 11.
The agreement allows copyrighted movies to be shown at all the district's school buildings.
The annual public performance site license covers the legal use of movies through Oct. 21, 2013 at a total cost of $1,588.
"We enter into this agreement every year," Superintendent Dr. Tim Calfee said. "We can show copyrighted movies each year. That is prohibited unless we have a licensing agreement like this."
Murray said her science class has also watched clips of TV's "Bill Nye, the Science Guy."
"Those clips added a lot," she said. "They give a different dimension for students to learn. The movies give teachers flexibility in how they plan their classes. Some students learn differently, so we can do more than show them a book or a piece of paper."
Jim Boardwine, who teaches English, songwriting, production and theater at Streetsboro High School, believes showing movies to his students can enhance their education.
"Natural readers are visual readers, but not everyone is like that, so films help them visualize and bring the text alive," he said. "It helps with their comprehension and their engagement with a book."
Boardwine said he typically shows movies that go with the literature in his classes.
He said examples include the movies "Of Mice and Men" starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and movies about the Holocaust like "Schindler's List."
In addition, he sometimes shows movie clips.
"They are very beneficial," he said. "It is important to vary your activities, to bounce between lectures and students' reading and writing, and to incorporate visual and audio media."