Lesson: Rewrite the Script of Imperialism: Project Introduction

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Lesson Objective

Teachers will be able to prepare materials and concepts for project. Students will understand project, role of book and movies, and film component of project.

Lesson Plan




  • You will need access to computers, internet, printing, copying, video projection and the ability to play sound from a computer.
  • You will need a Netflix account. This is incredibly useful anyway and, in my opinion, worth every penny. Watch Instantly only is $7.99/mo and one DVD in the mail with unlimited Watch Instantly is $9.99/mo. Go to Netflix.com and put Avatar in your DVD queue and Life and Debt in your Instant queue.
  • You will need at least one video camera. In my class, I had students use their cell phones and I brought in USB cords or had them email me the video, but you might also use built-in webcams if you have Mac computers or a good investment for the classroom would be a Flip camera.
  • You will need minerals as realia. An affordable set is available here.
  • You will need to make several classroom displaysto help students track and connect information. Samples are attached to this lesson.  These include:
    • Character Profile Stars
    • Story Timeline
    • Analogous Character Table
    • Vocabulary Notebook template
    • You will need a class set of Heart of Darkness. This is available at the public library, very inexpensively at http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-9780486264646-0 or as a FREE audiobook at http://www.loudlit.org/works/heartofdarkness.htm
    • Textbooksreferenced in this project include:
      • What Do You Stand For? By Free Spirit Publishing
      • McDougal Littell Modern World History
      • Glencoe Economics Principles & Practices
      • Glencoe Earth Science
  • Download the attached Task List and grade rubric (RewriteImperialism) to distribute to students. A full set of student resources is available live online at http://msanke.blogspot.com/2011/03/rewrite-script-of-imperialism.html and the attached page of materials.

I make a point of placing these on a table central to the classroom.


Instructional Supports:


This project is more teacher-intensive than most others. Partly, some systems are changed or introduced during this project. There are also a lot of facts that need to be connected here, so the teacher may need to facilitate most of these connections and model the process on classroom displays. Once students have seen many instances of modeling, they are expected to draw analogies between characters and consider the effects of specific events.


Possible Alternative Endings for Film Scripts:




When introducing this project, note the following points:

  • Imperialism has shaped many things about our world. It has changed where countries are, what languages they speak, what type of government they have, how diverse countries are, what we know about geography, how people make money, how much money people around the world have, and it has given us new forms of racism and prejudice. Globalization, a phenomenon that affects all of us daily, is a result of the connections built during the imperial period.  We cannot understand our world without understanding this part of history.
  • The story of imperialism has happened many times in truth and in fiction, and there are usually some shared aspects. We are going to read a book, study textbooks and watch movies and try to find some characters that always appear in imperial stories. We are going to be finding some things that are the same across stories that happen at different times and in different places.
  • We will be writing a short film to tell a different ending to a real story. This will be very short and very simple, and our time will be limited. Do not worry about writing the film until we have learned everything we need to understand about imperialism, then you will have help coming up with a different ending. The idea of your ending should be possible, but it will be a fictional ending. You will learn what happened in history, and then choose one thing that could have gone differently and make a very, very short film that shows that happening.
  • Establish with your students what your expectations are for the reading procedures of Heart of Darkness each day. 


Lesson Resources

Daily Group Mgmnt Form.docx  
Flip Camera
Minerals Kit
Heart of Darkness
HoD Audiobook FREE!
Analysis of Heart of Darkness
How to Calculate Percent Change
Screen Writing Info for Teachers
Student-Facing Blog


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