August 31, 2022
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - It's a Night at the Movies!
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators’ idea is something that childbirth educators can do outside of class time, but offers benefits for families and requires little investment or effort on the part of the educator. I think I first learned of having a “Movie Night” from Kim James, an LCCE in the Seattle area of Washington state who would do this activity with her Lamaze classes. You can find all the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators posts for free here.
Educators seldom state that they have all the time they need to cover everything they want to cover in a childbirth class. Building community amongst class members often takes a backseat to moving through all the curriculum that is required, though they do not have to be mutually exclusive. Hosting a movie night for the families in your classes is a simple and effective way to get families together, provide an opportunity for learning outside the classroom and works well for both in-person and virtual classes.
What is Movie Night
Movie night is an opportunity for families to watch a film, fiction or nonfiction with other families and share any thoughts and take-aways that they might have with each other and the childbirth educator.
How long does it take
The length of this activity is directly dependent on the length of the film or show selected. If a movie is particularly long, it might be wise to show the entire film over several weeks so that families can participate in doable “chunks.” For shorter pieces, it is entirely possible to show the selection in one sitting. Remember to allow time for discussion when doing your scheduling.
When to conduct this activity
This activity takes place outside of regular class hours. One in-person option would be to show the movie while you are setting up the classroom for the upcoming class. For virtual classes, you can start the class on your selected meeting platform at the designated time in advance of the regular class start time. Either way you do this, those who want to participate can. Consider scheduling this after the first or second class, in order to build up traction for the event.
How to run this event
In order to maximize participation, give the families in your classes sufficient notice so they can plan to attend. Be clear on time, location or meeting link and let families know they are free to eat or snack during the show. Invite families to bring food or snacks if appropriate. Plan some discussion time after the movie is over or at another designated time, so you can answer questions and everyone who attended.
How to select a movie
First and foremost, make sure that whatever material you are selecting is available to the public or that you are in compliance with all copyright and usage laws associated with the film.
You can choose your favorite classic birth films, a contemporary documentary or even a fictional story. You might collate a collection of birth videos. There are lots of options depending on your interests and those of the families attending your classes.
You could offer families a few choices and let them vote on the selection that they are most interested in. Another option would be to ask families to suggest a film based on what they have heard or read outside of class, and you make the final decision.
What families say about Movie Night
Families really appreciate the opportunity to watch content they may not have previously been familiar with. The added bonus is to hear the opinions and thoughts of others who may have different perspectives. This shared activity builds community and lets families develop relationships with others who are also growing their families at the same time.
How you could modify this activity
An alternative to running this activity pre-class is to consider having a monthly movie night and any current or alum families can join. You would need to confirm available space for an in-person event, or offer the film virtually, for both your in-person and virtual classes.
There is both classic and new material that educators may be familiar with that pregnant families have not had an opportunity to see,, but very much might enjoy watching. A viewing party, and then time for discussion and questions after, creates a safe space to explore and learn outside of the traditional childbirth classes. Building community through shared events like this enriches the pregnancy for everyone who participates.
TagsBrilliant Activities For Birth Educators childbirth educator Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza