Using Popular Film to Teach Evaluation

Presented by: Pauline Shostack

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This teaching strategy uses a film clip to help students consider the source of the information they seek.


Film: Day After Tomorrow


Complete citation:


Gordon, M. (Producer), & Emmerich, R. (Director and Producer). (2004). Day After Tomorrow [Motion picture]. United States: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation.


In some of my library instruction classes for freshmen level English, I show a 2-minute movie clip from the film "The Day After Tomorrow." This clip shows a group of people who found shelter in the New York Public Library during a catastrophic storm, contemplating whether to head south or to stay in the library until the storm ends. During the clip, they hear from two sources: the main character's government-official dad, who cautions to stay put and another character's sister saying the weather is fine in Virginia and they should head there.

After watching the clip, I ask the class to think about what they would do based on the information they obtained from the clip. Then I ask them why they made the decisions they did. This often leads to a discussion about sources and evaluating them. Following this, I segue into a discussion on the variety of sources they may encounter in their research and how they will need to evaluate them just as they had done with the movie clip.