Documentary Teacher Resources
Find Documentary educational ideas and activities
Showing 1 - 20 of 166 resources
Learners conduct background research about a Pacific Rim country to develop a premise for a documentary film about the fate of traditional fishing industries in the area.
Introduction to a Documentary Film Project
Students are introduced to a project about documentary films. They view documentaries and choose a response project to complete selecting from among journal writing, making an original documentary and/or completing an art project.
Viewing "Cane Toads" To Learn About Aperture in Documentary Film
High schoolers view the documentary film Cane Toads: An Unnatural History and use a worksheet to record their emotional responses throughout the film. They participate in a discussion about the use of aperture in documentaries.
Learners propose and create documentary films depicting a slice of "ordinary" life that reveals something unique or surprising about its subject. They, in groups, make films and present them to the school.
Processing Experiences from the Documentary Film Project
Pupils use computer to type a response to what they learned during their documentary film project. They share with the class what they did for their project and ask for questions.
Students read and discuss an online article as they consider what makes a center of activity in a city or town. They produce a documentary film of the hub of activity in their school.
The Three-Fold Aims of Documentary Film
Students are introduced to the three main purposes of a documentary. They view excerpts of films and discuss the documentary as a voice for the voiceless, a presentation of everyday life and an explanation of the process followed to arrive at an outcome.
The Four Modes of Documentary Film
Students identify the point of view used in a variety of documentaries and consider how point of view affects the voice of the film. They watch excerpts of documentaries, participate in discussion and complete worksheets.
Religion in Culture & Politics: Women’s empowerment in Syria
Learners determine their own perspective on women's empowerment then compare it to how it is seen in Syria. They watch a four documentary clips, discuss what they've seen, then answer two short essay questions. Excellent resource links and good extension activities make this a worthwhile lesson.
Film Festival: Documentaries for Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the New York Times provides links to five short documentary films depicting Hispanic themes and culture. Learners can click on each embedded link to view the films, then answer each set of related analysis questions.
Building a Documentary Library
Documentary films allow your class to visit new places and gain a deeper understanding of complex issues.
I Had To Tell This Story
Tenth graders analyze the video "Berga: Soldiers of Another War." For this World History lesson, 10th graders read a quote and discuss the meaning of the quote. Students read and answer questions based on a video
The City Symphony- The Original Reality Show
Students discuss the purpose of city symphonies that were used in the past. In groups, they compare and contrast the social systems of a school and city to create their own city symphony video together. They also write what is known as a treatment in the present tense to introduce the characters and setting. They record their video and present it to the class.
Through the Eyes of a Child
Students explore how documentaries can present realistic and sometimes difficult perspectives on events in our world. They choose current issues that interest them and create their own documentaries.
When, Where and How Many -- and Why?
Students review photographs and create a timeline of events related to the Holocaust. For this WWII lesson, students match photographs with events and identify key locations on historical maps. Students graph population changes over time and view film clips on concentration camps.
Students research psychology by participating in a role-play activity. For this human relationship lesson, students define the term "family" and read assigned text which discusses how family relationships work. Students answer study questions after psychology text and participate in a family role-play.
Growing up in Las Vegas; Memories of Childhood in the Neon City
Students investigate the history of Las Vegas through conducting interviews. In this oral history lesson, students locate and speak with older residents of Las Vegas in order to gain a better understanding of the city. Students create a blog or website with their interviews and create a documentary from their recorded video and audio content.
Using Documentary Film to Explore Family History and Memory
Pupils explore their family stories in a historical context. The PBS documentary Daughter From Danang is used to illustrate the dramatic impact that the Vietnam War had on the family and ide
Students research evidence of different kinds of influence in Muslim societies and analyze their impact. They evaluate commonality and diversity amongst Muslim men and women throughout the world. Students compare student impressions of Muslim men and women before and after viewing the film. Finally, students evaluate how the role of Muslim Americans is perceived by Muslim and non-Muslims in the United States.
The Candid Camera
Learners examine the influence of photographer Jerome Liebling on documentary films. They read and discuss an article, take photographs, and create an original photo essay and artist statement.