Film Teacher Resources
Find Film educational ideas and activities
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Who Is to Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death?
Who done it? As the culmination of a unit study of Romeo and Juliet, class members must decide who (or what) is to blame for the death of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. After engaging in a series of preparatory activities, including focused readings and discussions, individuals craft an argumentative essay in which they present their case, their evidence, and then analyze counter arguments. The packet includes all necessary materials, as well as links to additional resources. A must for your Romeo and Juliet curriculum file.
Research is a great way to extend the writing process. Learners gather data about their personal heroes and create a multimedia project. They write about their heroes for the "My heroes short film festival and competition," and create a short film depicting their hero.
Art and National Identity: Analyzing Painting and Literature from the Era of Manifest Destiny
Learners begin the lesson by discussing the causes and effects of the movement west. Using primary sources, they develop their own definition for manifest destiny. In groups, they view examples of paintings and read poems on the topic. They compare and contrast how the idea of manifest destiny is shown through the two mediums.
What About Films?
Students watch and analyze a film of an Appalachian folktale. They define trickster and anti-hero, view and discuss the film, complete a handout, compose an original film review, and debate each character's behavior.
America in Film and Fiction
Pupils begin the lesson by reading a book on film study. After watching the movie "Citizen Kane", they work together to identify the issues concerning the United States before World War II. As a class, they discuss how the ideas and views of the directors make their way into a film.
Films That Make A Difference in History Lesson Plans
Showing films or other types of media in the classroom is a great way to bring history lesson plans alive.
Seeing the Image in Imagery: A Lesson Plan Using Film
Begin The Great Gatsby by showing the opening half-hour of the film. Using this clip, discuss imagery with your class and assign each learner a type of imagery. Group learners together according to type of imagery and have them respond to questions. The lesson ends with a paragraph analyzing the director's choices pertaining to imagery.
Slowing Down Time (in Writing & Film)
How do you slowmo a story? The narrator of a short video models how to slow down the pace of a narrative by using concepts drawn from slow motion filming. Just as slow motion in a film is achieved by speeding up the process so that more frames are shot per second, a sense of slow motion in writing can be achieved by including more frames of detail in a story. A beautifully simple solution to what may seem like a challenging problem.
Lincoln, Douglass, and Black Emergence (Literature and Politics, 1840-1865)
Students examine the ideas of Lincoln and Douglass. In groups, they compare and contrast writings from each man and how they formed the nation with their ideas. After watching "Glory", they discuss how people like Lincoln and Douglass brought change to the United States in dealing with race related issues.
"How to Think Like an Archaeologist" - Suggested Pre-Visit Activity For Historic Jamestown
Young scholars examine how archaeologists use artifacts to explore other people and their cultures. They discuss types of artifacts, analyze receipts for clues, and discuss how what the items bought reflect about people.
Predicting the Future
Students use the film about predicting the future as analysis of humans desire to analyze the future. In this future predictions lesson, students discuss predictions and complete a famously wrong predictions sheet. Students complete a literary predictions survey and make up their own predictions. Students view the film and add predictions freewrite about the topic.
Structure of Natural Narratives
Class pairs select a prompt from a provided list and tell (and record) their story to their partner. They then examine linguist William Labov's model for natural narratives, and apply his model to their tale. Next, class members watch clips from the film Stream of Life, and again label sections of the narrative, using the provided analysis worksheet. Extensions and adaptions are included.
The Fog of War
Students view the film Fog of War and discuss the most striking elements of the film. They focus on chosen lessons from robert McNamara's life such as: empathy, rationality and proportionality.
Black Actors in American Cinema
Students examine the contributions of a few African American actors. After watching different films, they work together to recreate the film and the struggles faced by the actors. In groups, they compare and contrast the acting style of the different actors. To end the lesson, they identify the stereotypes used in films to represent African Americans.
Real-World Projects: Challenges from the Polymer Industry
Two scenarios are presented for chemistry detectives to decipher. Both require the use of an infrared spectrometer and focus on the examination of polymer materials. In the first, lumps in polyethylene bottles are analyzed. In the second, two specific brands of plastic food wrap are compared. Lab groups can choose from one of these two open-ended science inquiries. They are both terrific lessons for studying properties of polymers, spectroscopy, or simply practicing the scientific process.
Old Hobbits Are Hard to Break
Explore film adaptation of literature with this lesson, which focuses on the world of film advertisements. Middle schoolers discuss various films (including The Lord of the Rings) and create advertisements for a pretend film based on a fairy tale. An outstanding resource that covers many areas of the curriculum and includes some excellent supplemental educational resources. Use it to study the difference between a film adaptation and its source material.
The Pursuit of Excellence
Who doesn’t love French pastries and the idea of hard work? Discover different philosophies on hard work, and the skills of French pastry chefs as the documentary concerning the “Best Craftsmen in France” or Meilleures Ouvriers de France is viewed and discussed. Learners analyze the chef preparation, mentor rolls, and the French philosophies of hard work versus intellectual work, while juxtaposing it against American attitudes. Adaptations are included that contrast the conflicts of the documentary with similar struggles of other cultures and individuals. This would serve as a great activity to explore cultural differences, or expand a home and consumer science curriculum.
New! The Day the Mesozoic Died
While this is not the traditional, step-by-step lesson plan, it is chock-full of material that you can easily incorporate into your earth history unit. Its main purpose is to serve as a guide to using a three-part film, The Day the Mesozoic Died, which uncovers evidence in the fossil record for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. Key concepts, background information, discussion points, and quiz questions are provided. There are also several links to related resources such as video lectures, slide presentations, and posters.
ANALYZING RUMORS AND MYTHS
Eleventh graders explore the phenomenon of "disinformation" that often circulates during a crisis. For this American Government lesson, 11th graders analyze an article on myths and rumors.
Analyzing Primary Sources
The challenge of analyzing primary sources is addressed by a detailed plan from Inspiration Software. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is used to model how the primary source analysis template can aid in creating an analysis of documents. Adaptations and extensions are included, as are the original and model templates.