View Full Version : Anime in the Classroom

Major Bougainvillea
2nd April 2020, 01:07 AM
I have been using anime for my sixth-grade class going on three years now. Why three years? I had been using classic movie/show clips to emphasize key points in Social Studies. I challenged the students try something 'new" and watch a black/white movie to the end. That is when a student challenged me back to watch an anime through to the end. I had seen parts of animes over the years, but had never completed a series. "Fair enough, but it has to have something relevant to Social Studies". The buzzwords (prone to change yearly but stable for the past decade) of the course are: Political, Economic, Social and Environmental themes. I was handed "Spice & Wolf". I nearly did not make it through the first episode because, it had an indication it was going to be 'that type of anime'. I continued watching and I was impressed to say the least, both with the anime and how the student related every single theme of the course through the series, especially economic. In sixth grade, students want wars and drama, not economic theory. If a student can apply so much through an anime, why not use it in the classroom somehow? One of the biggest challenges in education is getting students to 'buy in' to the material and I am using a platform I enjoy as much as the students.



2nd April 2020, 02:01 AM
Ah, photos! :aishawtf: That is such an interesting approach. Like you said, if it's going to get kids engaged and they learn at least a fair amount of useful information from that, it's better than showing them something dull that saps their motivation to learn much of anything. How much of a change in interest and grades did you start to see after you began using anime?

Major Bougainvillea
2nd April 2020, 02:21 AM
I have found the interest level has skyrocketed for social studies, both boys and girls, though their likes are almost polar opposites: Girls tend to like animes like "Anohana", "Your Name" and "A Silent Voice". Boys are more "Attack on Titan", "Fairy Tail", and "Demon Slayer". Interestingly enough,this year both like "Danganronpa". I do not know because it is also a video game, there is a meme or something they connect with, or something else. I also find it sort of disturbing (lol). Last year both liked "Violet Evergarden" , but not so much this year. Teaching the same material with anime references, test scores went up an average of 11% per class. Granted, there may be other factors in play, but, when both students (and teacher) are enthusiastic about something, good things tend to happen.

2nd April 2020, 07:43 AM
That kid ehonsuggested Spice and Wolf was pretty mature for his age.
Good for him! And I'm glad you took his "challenge" and are integrating it into your lessons now.
I've never seen or heard of anyone using anime in school, but I think it can work, especially now.
When I was in high school 12 years ago (damn it...I'm old lol) anime was MUCH MUCH less popular or mainstream as it is now.
But with things like SAO and AoT being popular with a large group of people, more people are fans of anime, and more importantly, people aren't judged and ridiculed for liking anime.
And I can certainly understand why test scores have gone up. You're making it relatable to things your kids like and are interested in. You're engaging, instead of just regurgitating the book at them. Ice had both kinds of teachers, and I always preferred the ones who engaged with you FAR more than the ones that would just vomit words out of the book. Everyone's favorite teacher in my high school was the AP US Government teacher. He always tried to make classes fun and interactive. He'd act things out, get everyone involved, and genuinely loved what he did.
He even had a tall people protest (hes short lol) every year where he would get his students to run into classrooms with picket signs.
Everyone loved him. No one ever had a bad thing to say about him.

It's funny to see that that dichotomy still exists today.
Boys love shonen while girls like romance and slice of life anime.
But...Anohana? That's interesting. That anime is almost 9 years old now.
(And it's kind of funny you're mentioning it since the main character pretty much skips class every day. He has a pretty good reason why, but it's still just funny.)

Damn it. I wanna watch that again.

Major Bougainvillea
2nd April 2020, 02:40 PM
Thank you for the kind words. I am excited I found something both the students and I genuinely enjoy. Luckily, I have a principal has given his approval to continue, for he loves the 'data' results. A fair number of students have Funimation, Crunchyroll, and/or Netflix, so maybe this where some of the older titles come from. I am curious what titles will be popular with the students next year? I say that because 'this year' may be officially over with Coronavirus and after-effects. I am always open to suggestions!


4th April 2020, 03:15 PM
I'm shocked by the 12 year old suggesting Spice & Wolf as well. That's something I watched and read in college (partly because I was studying economics at the time, so i used it in an academic sense as well!). It was interesting to hear which shows resonate with kids these days. Some of those were expected but others, not so much.