A Class That Stars Teens


The teacher, Lauren Sullivan, is using these textbooks in her class, Teen Film.

Benjamin Ross

This spring, Lauren is offering a very unique English elective titled, “Teen Film.”  In this course, students will study several ‘teen pics’ from the 1950s to today in an attempt to track the way in which Hollywood accurately- or inaccurately- portrayed the of the teen experience throughout the last seventy or so years.

The class kicked off with two famous films from the 1950’s– Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without A Cause, and will study other films such as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Boyz in the Hood, American Pie, Juno, and Lady Bird.

The students complete journal entries for each day a film is viewed. The journals can be about anything from characterization, conflicts, teen-related themes, and personal connections. Lauren is using two guiding texts to help students dig deeper to the films– Rebels & Chicks: A History of the Hollywood Teen Movie by Stephen Tropiano and Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in American Cinema since 1980 by Timothy Shary.