Facets Children’s Programs and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival


Professional Development

Media Workshops for Teachers and Principals

“I have been teaching for 33 years and I do not have a great love for workshops, but once in a while a workshop comes along that can really change your teaching techniques. This is one of these precious moments, and I just cannot express the wonder and excitement this workshop has started in me.” – Sherry Ginsburg, workshop participant

Every year, the average child spends 1,600 hours with movies, TV, video games, and the internet – and only 900 hours in a classroom. Without supervision or guidance in using media the right way, children can suffer delayed development of reading skills, hyperactivity, low language retention, and even health problems like ADD and obesity. But media used the right way is a powerful educational tool for teachers. In these workshops, principals and teachers learn to use media:

  • as a springboard into learning at every level and in every area of the curriculum;
  • to improve classroom performance and boost students’ grades and test scores;
  • to stimulate students’ writing, critical thinking, oral presentation skills, and class participation.

These workshops are presented by the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, a media literacy resource for city schools for over twenty years.

Professional Development Workshops


Taming TV gives teachers the tools to help young children thrive in a media-saturated society. The workshop will focus on creating a positive, safe, and fun environment for children and establishing a methodology for dialog with children before and after watching media.

Workshop participants will:

  • View a specially curated program of short films for 2-5 year-old children
  • Learn techniques to prepare children for activities using film and video
  • Practice activities to help children transfer their energy out of viewing and into creative activities
  • Receive materials listing sources for positive children’s media
  • Learn and discuss the criteria for positive film, video and television for children 2-5.
  • This powerful workshop lays the foundation for a lifetime of positive, not passive interactions with media.

For more information on “Taming TV” CLICK HERE!  


This workshop is for teachers grades 2-8 who want to learn specific techniques for using media as a tool to help students develop core literacy competencies. Workshop participants will view short films for youth, practice “reviewing” activities that stimulate students’ writing and critical thinking skills, and discuss ways to use media as a curricular tool and a bridge into learning.

In this workshop, teachers will:

  • Learn specific methods to link media with reading and writing activities
  • Identify – and help students identify – the ‘reading opportunities’ in a film
  • Use media to amplify the benefits of in-class preparation for standardized testing.

For more information on “Literacy Through Media” CLICK HERE!    


This lively workshop shows you how to use media for improving children’s work in the classroom! Learn simple techniques that use film and video to awaken children’s interest in learning, stimulate critical thinking, and can help improve performance on standardized tests. Nicole Dreiske, Founder/Artistic Director of Facets Multi-Media and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, leads this workshop where teachers will learn:

  • Teaching children the basics of media literacy – the “right way” to watch movies and TV
  • Exercises that use media to master concepts reviewed by the Iowa Basic Skills Tests
  • Media-based activities to stimulate students’ reading, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
  • Methodologies for using media in the classroom and as homework to enhance students learning in a wide range of subjects, including global culture, language arts, visual arts.

For more information on “Media: Improving Tests, Skills & Scores” CLICK HERE!      

To schedule a professional development workshop or for more information, please contact “Kidsfest” at kidsfest@facets.org or by phone at 773-281-9075.