Filmmaking Teacher Resources
Find Filmmaking educational ideas and activities
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How do artists affect and how are artists affected by the time periods in which they live? Learners examine the life and work of controversial and influential cultural artist Patti Smith as they seek answers to this essential question. Groups research her associates, the social and cultural events of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in which she participated, her poems, songs, and photographs. Links are provided as are extensions, adaptations, and assessments. Preview materials before considering this resource for your class.
Can technology can be addictive? After viewing a short video called "Play," class members consider this questions, gather data on types and amount of time people spend on various technology, and draw conclusions from the information gathered. The final discussion centers on the question of video games and social control.
Students view examples of images and discuss why a director or writer chose these images. Using different forms of media, they develop their own standards by which to judge television or films. They discover the use of visual literacy as a skill to interpret images that surround them.
Eleventh graders research how cultural change, technological advances, and social customs of the 20th century are depicted in American literature. Based on this research, they write an original work of American historical fiction.
A viewing of Silver Sling begins a consideration of the issues related to and the need for surrogate mothers. Class members then compare the stance of the film to that of the article, “Surrogate Mothers: Womb for Rent.” Richly detailed and thoughtful, the packet includes discussion questions, links to nonfiction articles related to the issues, graphic organizers, and worksheets. A great way to address Common Core standards.
Students work with primary documents and latter-day photographs to recapture the experience of traveling on the Oregon Trail. Working in groups, they write a scene for the movie that is historically accurate and based on the kinds of experiences emigrants actually encountered on their way West.
This lesson leads students to learn to use writing as a conflict resolution strategy, use re-writing as a way to improve writing skills, learn to respectfully critique another's writing, consider situations from a variety of perspectives and think about t
Students view a film that chronicles the experiences of Juan Carlos Zaldivar, a Cuban American immigrant. They discuss and analyze this autobiographical film and conduct further research on historical relations between the United States and Cuba.
Students discuss the factors that influenced them to purchase a particular item. They work together to read and identify incentives of a character. They view a video on the topic as well.
Students examine the reasons behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Exploring multiple perspectives, they discuss the concepts of peoples' rights and justice in the area. They practice applying conflict resolution principles as well.
High schoolers read and analyze Jessie Benton Fremont's travelogue of her trip out west in 1849 to identify the gender roles, social attitudes and class distinctions of the time. They then adapt the the travelogue into a film script.
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.
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.
Students read and discuss a film review of the animated movie Antz and then write a monologue from the perspective of a non-human organism.
This instructional activity will help students practice conducting an oral history interview, increase knowledge about what it is like to be a soldier, gain knowledge about the Vietnam War and gain knowledge about the Chicano experience in the U.S.
Learners view videos, visit websites, and read about the nature and changes made to the idea of political asylum. Beginning with Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, they will explore policy change throughout the years. The lesson culminates in a simulation of discussions regarding the tragedy of SS St. Louis.
Students investigate the history, politics and culture of Somalia. They analyze media coverage and portrayal of the country. They focus on the role of media in reporting on Somalia and the current debate over the film Black Hawk Down.
Students see the difference between protected and prohibited speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment. They explain why free speech is essential to a democracy and consider how best to deal with speech they find offensive.
Students view the film "War Feels Like War" about journalist's experiences in the Iraqi War and discuss the role of journalism in war. They evaluate different media sources for war reporting and determine the questions they want to see addressed.
The Learning Network section of the New York Times produces high-quality teaching materials. This issue gets middle or high schoolers reading an article about how people use art to express their response to high-stress events. They work in groups to craft and practice skits illustrating a tragedy and explain how it could also be formatted as a short video. This lesson is a thoughtful inclusion for your performing arts class.