Viewer's Response

Formative Assessments: Reader's & Writer's Notebook

This formative work provides some of the evidence necessary to demonstrate readiness for a summative assessment which will measure:

What is a viewer's response to film?

A viewer's response to film is a critical thinking tool which offers a student viewing a film the opportunity to:

      • develop visual literacy
      • articulate and develop an understanding of the text of a film

As you view a film and respond to prompts, consider how you would answer the following questions.


      • What kinds of images are you seeing? Are they soft and glowing with warmth or harsh and sharp?
      • Does the camera move slowly from left to right or does it jump quickly?
      • Does the film "feel" fast paced or relaxed?
      • What are the scene transitions like? Does the film fade to black between "chapters"?


      • What's the soundtrack like? Could it be identified with an era?
      • Are themes repeated like the bass "da-dum da-dum da-dum dum dum da-dum da-dum da-dum" in Jaws? When and why is a theme repeated?


      • Who are the main characters?
      • What's the primary conflict? How is it resolved?
      • Are there any sub-plots?
      • What's the overall theme?
      • Watching a film adaptation of a novel? Consider these questions:
      • Are characters/scenes missing or added?
      • Is the sequence of events the same as the novel?
      • Is the ending the same?
      • Is the overall message the same?
      • Do the actors interpret the characters in the same way you envisioned the characters when you read the book?How are they different than you imagined? How are they the same?

Watching a documentary? Consider these questions:

      • What is the main focus of this film?
      • What is the thesis of this film? What is it trying to prove or persuade the audience to believe?
      • What is the supporting evidence? How does the film prove the truth of the thesis?

Click here to view a sample viewer's response.

Ready to complete your own Viewer's Response?

Click here download a blank response.

Then click on "File" and select "Make a Copy"

Next, rename the document (just delete the word "copy" and keep the rest). Lastly, save it to your Reader's & Writer's Notebook, located in your course folder.