1968: Examining the Documentary and Informational Text (1 of 3)

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SWBAT analyze various accounts of subject told in different mediums, determine which details are emphasized and synthesize multiple sources on a subject by researching 1968 in film and print.

Big Idea

Can we convince students that "reading" a film is the same as reading a text?

Unit Introduction

This mini-unit is one of my favorites.  When I was thinking about my students and our goals for the year, I wanted to make an effort to incorporate visual elements within class.  I have completely eliminated watching entire films.  Instead, this year I want to incorporate small clips into lessons we already do.  It is important that students understand that film is a form of text and must be read.  The book 1968 by Michael Kaufman was my inspiration for this unit.  One of my students brought it in and I fell in love.  It is visually stunning and combines many different types of text.  1968 is a great year to study.  During the year, people questioned authority, fought for rights and didn't take no for an answer.  Teenagers can certainly relate to that.  This video explains why I focused on incorporating film.

Warm Up

5 minutes

Today is one of those magical days where the world of English Teacher and History Teacher blends together.  To get students ready to be open minded, I am going to ask them to write as much as they can about 1968.  Some kids won't know much.  After two minutes of writing, I am going to ask students to share aloud and students who didn't have anything written down with take notes (W.9-10.10).  

Did she really just say let's watch a movie?

30 minutes

I hardly ever take time to watch film in my classroom.  If we are watching film, it is typically a two-three minute clip about something.  However, today, they are going to watch 30 minutes of Tom Brokaw's documentary on 1968.  This film is divided into multiple parts on YouTube.  We are going to watch parts 1 of 7, 4 of 7 and 5 of 7.  

Before I start the film, I will tell students that we are going to study 1968 through film and print.  I will hand out the 1968 assignment.  We will begin with the third page of the document which poses two questions which ask students to answer a question after synthesizing two sources (RI.9-10.1, W 9-10.7).  I will then explain that to answer those questions, we need to conduct a short research assignment.  Students will watch the film sections and take notes on the important events from 1968. During note taking, I want students to practice choosing important details from a film.  


10 minutes

As class comes to a close, I am going to ask students to share their notes with a neighbor (SL.9-10.1). Since this is the first time we have gathered text evidence over a film, I want to make sure students are doing a good job.  I will also choose one of the topics and ask the students to tell me what they wrote down.  I will take those notes on the white board.  There is no homework.  Tomorrow we will continue working with their notes from the film.