The Story of Movies

I just received John Norton’s "Of Particular Interest" email newsletter for middle school teachers.  His review of The Story of Movies website caught my attention, so I took a brief trip over there.

The Story of Movies currently offers 3 DVD curriculum choices: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Here is what is included:

Each middle school unit from The Story of Movies curriculum has four interrelated components:
  • A DVD of the selected film for in-depth study. The Film Foundation recommends that all classes view the entire film prior to beginning the teaching unit.
  • A Teacher’s Guide, featuring lessons with teaching objectives, detailed, step-by-step instructions for presenting each activity, and answer keys. Appendices include chapter tests with answer keys, performance-based assessment activities, and National Film Study Standards. A glossary provides definitions of key terms relative to the study of film. In addition, transparencies for projecting graphic organizers are included.   
  • A Student Activities Booklet, which includes graphic organizers, Screening Sheets to be used while viewing the film clips, and reading, writing, visual-thinking, and group activities sheets.
  • A DVD that includes selected film clips or segments, most of which have a running time of 3 minutes or less. Also included on the DVD are movie stills and photographs.

Best of all, all the materials are free!  I signed up to receive the materials for To Kill a Mockingbird (although my favorite movie on the list is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington!).

The Story of Movies is a co-production of the Film Institute, IBM, and Turner Classic Movies.

One thing to note: currently materials are out of print, so it will be next year before I am able to use them.  Keep your eyes out for a review of how it goes!

Comments

  1. joe Brennan

    Tim, thank you! What a great site!! Definitely going to be something I pursue over on the storytelling blog. Coincidentally, I was just looking through “A Novel Look at Films,” an old program I picked up at the American Film Institute a couple of weeks ago. The series is apparently out of print, but the idea isn’t: looking critically at a book become film. And the extension of that, like the story of movies site promotes, is to look at movies as literature. Hopefully, that is part of a cycle where students bring a literate insight to their own visual storytelling and in turn appreciate and understand what they see in others’ work all the more.

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