Presenting Findings

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Objective

SWBAT explain their research about an historical film to their classmates.

Big Idea

How do we talk about bias in film?

Overview

This unit lasted approximately seven days and was taught jointly in English and U.S. Government classes.  It can be taught in a single class, but it would take ten to fourteen days to complete.  We had several objectives in this unit:

  • Students would read about the historical events presented in the movie "Argo" before they watched the movie.
  • Students would read a newspaper article about the Iran Hostage Crisis and compare that with a news profile of the six embassy workers who escaped looking at the difference in language and tone.
  • Students would watch the movie "Argo" taking notes about what events in the movie are different from the news profile they read. 
  • Students would present on a different aspect of bias an inaccuracy in the film.

Presenting Ideas to Classmates

45 minutes

As the students go through their presentations of accuracy and the presence of bias in the classroom they answer not only the question their group chose, but also the questions that I raised at the beginning of the unit:

  • Are movies based on historical events accurate enough to teach us history?
  • Do we learn about history from movies or are we simply being entertained?
  • Can we find bias in movies based on true events?

 

By and large the students agree that although the events portrayed in the film are based on true events, one can not think that because they've watch an historical movie they know the facts. I've instructed students previously that they are looking at a unique aspect of the film and they are explaining that aspect to their classmates, essentially they are pointing out examples of bias and inaccuracy in the movie to determine whether or not 'Argo' presents the Iranian Hostage Crisis in a way that audiences can learn from the movie.