Documentary Teacher Resources

Find Documentary educational ideas and activities

Showing 1 - 20 of 173 resources
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.
High schoolers 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.
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.
Students 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 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.
Students 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.
Students 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.
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.
Require your class members to view documentaries and comment on various elements of the films. In order to elicit their thoughts, assign a worksheet with space for individuals to predict concepts that the film will feature, note specific details about the film type and elements, and comment on the film and its message. Class members can jot down their thoughts and observations and share their work the following day.
Here’s a must-have resource for anyone using The Grapes of Wrath. Everything from guiding question to background information, from photographs to documentary films, from activities to assessments is included in a richly detailed packet designed to show readers the tight relationship between the Joad narrative and the inner or intercalary chapters of John Steinbeck’s acclaimed novel.
Tenth graders analyze the video "Berga:  Soldiers of Another War."  In 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
Prepare your class for creating their own documentaries. Before they get started, they'll need to know what a documentary is and what makes a documentary compelling. As a class, watch several documentaries from the point of view of the writer, taking notes on a few questions while viewing. Then, come together to create a chart listing documentary characteristics. The resources suggests a documentary titled After the Fall: HIV Grows Up, which is available for free through the documentary's website.
Use this general lesson guide to inform your instruction surrounding a documentary. The lesson is made up of five activities. The activities are intentionally general because they are designed to adapted for specific films. While the lesson was originally designed to go with the films on the same site as the plan, they could be used with virtually any film. Additionally, the resource includes a series of questions grouped by theme that could be asked about any film.
Students 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
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.
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. 
Documentary films allow your class to visit new places and gain a deeper understanding of complex issues.
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.
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.
High schoolers review photographs and create a timeline of events related to the Holocaust. In this WWII activity, students match photographs with events and identify key locations on historical maps. High schoolers graph population changes over time and view film clips on concentration camps.

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