Learning through short films: Fostering Social Emotional Learning and life skills with Book Creator

Arianna PisapiaBlog, Case study, Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

In the dynamic world of education, imparting essential values and life skills to students is just as crucial as teaching academic subjects.

While academic achievements are essential for a well-rounded education, soft skills and life skills complement these achievements to create a holistic learning experience.

Soft skills, such as empathy, communication, creativity, and resilience, play an indispensable role in shaping well-rounded individuals who can navigate life's challenges with confidence and compassion. Recognizing this, educators must explore innovative methods to instill these qualities in their students, and one effective approach is through the use of short films.

Short films are captivating storytelling tools that can convey powerful messages and evoke emotions within a concise timeframe. They have the unique ability to address complex themes, such as the importance of being different or nurturing creativity, in a way that engages students on both intellectual and emotional levels.

When skillfully integrated into the learning process, short films provide a profound impact on students' personal growth and character development.

The visual and emotional impact of short films resonates deeply with students, making them more receptive to the messages and ideas conveyed.

In the context of SEL (Social Emotional Learning), short films serve as catalysts for thoughtful discussions and reflections. They prompt students to explore their emotions, perspectives, and values, encouraging them to empathize with characters, analyze situations critically, and contemplate their actions. As students engage with these narratives, they develop the ability to identify with diverse experiences, embrace their uniqueness, and appreciate the value of creativity and friendship.

Furthermore, when students collaborate on projects like those presented through Book Creator, they actively participate in meaningful activities that promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

By designing interactive games, word clouds, acrostics, and creative walls, students not only enhance their digital literacy but also learn the importance of effective communication and collaboration.



Once upon a time, I had the pleasure of working directly with a group of enthusiastic 8th-grade students in my English class. As an educator, I always believed in the power of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and its positive impact on students' personal growth.

To instill valuable lessons about the importance of being different, creativity, and friendship, I decided to embark on a unique project that would utilize short films and Book Creator to nurture SEL reflections and foster a sense of community and understanding among the students.


The intended purpose of my work was two-fold: first, to teach my students the significance of embracing their uniqueness and celebrating diversity, and second, to provide them with authentic opportunities to practice their English language skills while engaging in meaningful activities.

To measure the success of the project, I observed the students' active participation, creativity, and ability to reflect on their emotions and thoughts throughout the process.

In this endeavor, I worked with the students as a guide, facilitator, and mentor. I created a structured lesson plan and organized group activities that encouraged collaboration and supported each student's individual growth.

We delved into the world of short films, exploring narratives that touched on themes like embracing differences, the power of creativity, and the value of friendship.



To kick off the project, I carefully selected a thought-provoking short film that revolved around "the importance of being different." After watching the film together, we engaged in open discussions, allowing the students to share their reflections and emotions.

We utilized Book Creator, an innovative digital tool, to create a virtual board where the students could collectively contribute their ideas and insights.

Divided into groups, the students took charge of their creative journey. Each group was assigned a specific task, which included creating word clouds to highlight the main ideas of the film, designing interactive comprehension games, crafting acrostics using key messages, and curating a free creativity wall.

The wall would serve as a digital canvas where students could express their thoughts, questions, personal ideas, and even include comic strips, pictures, and videos relevant to the topic.

The choice to use Book Creator was crucial for the success of this project. Its user-friendly interface and multimedia capabilities allowed the students to express themselves freely and authentically. They could integrate text, images, videos, and audio seamlessly, which fostered a sense of ownership and pride in their creations.



Throughout the project, the impact on the students was profound. As they engaged with the short film and collaborated on Book Creator, they not only enhanced their language skills but also developed a deeper sense of empathy, appreciation for diversity, and confidence in expressing their individuality.

The final guided discussion about the creative process became a platform for self-reflection, self-assessment, and sharing personal growth experiences. Each group presented their works to the entire school and their families, fostering a sense of pride in their achievements and encouraging open conversations within the larger community.

Furthermore, the decision to publish their creations on social media and the school website amplified the project's impact. It not only celebrated the students' efforts but also disseminated the valuable messages about embracing differences and fostering creativity to a wider audience.

In conclusion, "Learning Through Short Films" using Book Creator as a tool for SEL reflections was an enriching experience for both the students and myself.

Leveraging short films as a powerful teaching tool, along with creative platforms like Book Creator, empowers educators to shape students' character, instill essential values, and develop crucial life skills.

Through this creative journey, the students learned not only about the importance of being different but also discovered the power of their voices and the joy of collaborative creation.

As an educator, witnessing their growth and enthusiasm reaffirmed the significance of incorporating SEL practices into the learning process, leaving a lasting positive impact on their lives and the community as a whole.

By fostering SEL reflections and incorporating LifeComp into the learning journey, schools pave the way for a brighter future, where students are not only academically proficient but also emotionally resilient and socially competent individuals ready to embrace the world's challenges with grace and confidence.

Lesson plan resources

We used a number of digital tools to help deliver this project including:

Check out some of the students books

Here's a remixable template for you to get started


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