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Earth Day Movie Maker Documentary


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Keywords: Earth Day, Movie making, research, English
Subject(s): English/Language Arts
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: North Collins Jr Sr High Sch, N Collins, NY
Planned By: Robyn Turner
Original Author: Robyn Turner, N Collins
Earth Day Lesson Plan: Robyn Turner

Grade: English 10 Honors

*Note: Leading up to this lesson, students will have completed a unit on the novel, The White Bone, which is narrated by a herd of elephants encountering issues that arise from social, environmental and human factors. The novel offers a glimpse into the lives of an animal and gives students a fresh perspective on the plight of endangered and mistreated animals.

Day 1:

Essential Question: How are humans affecting the ways in which animals survive in today’s world? What obstacles must certain animals overcome in order to survive? What outlets can be used to inform others about these animals? SWBAT: create a short film documentary on an animal(s) of their choice, focusing on their lifestyle and their plight of survival in today’s world.

Anticipatory Set: Students will brainstorm the various reasons surrounding the impending extinction of many different animals in today’s world.

Presentation: partner, whole group

Guided Practice: Teacher will show students various clips from Disney’s Oceans, Earth and African Cats.

Individual Practice: Students will take notes on the ways in which the animals are viewed and described, as well as the different obstacles that each group encounters.

Closure: Begin thinking about what animal you would like to complete research on. Write up a short paragraph on at least two animals of interest to you.

Day 2:

Essential Question: How are humans affecting the ways in which animals survive in today’s world? What obstacles must certain animals overcome in order to survive? What outlets can be used to inform others about these animals? SWBAT: create a short film documentary on the animal(s) of their choice, focusing on their lifestyle and their plight of survival in today’s world.

Anticipatory Set: Share your paragraph with your partner and decide which animal you would like to research and film.

Presentation: whole group, individual

Guided Practice: Teacher will have students do some research on their animal, filling out the worksheet for facts such as natural habitat, eating habits, familial structure, survival techniques, extinction rate, etc.

Individual Practice: Students will use the internet, encyclopedias, etc. to research their animal in preparation for tomorrow’s field trip.

Closure: Finish filling in your note sheet and bring it with you tomorrow.

Day 3:

Essential Question: How are humans affecting the ways in which animals survive in today’s world? What obstacles must certain animals overcome in order to survive? What outlets can be used to inform others about these animals? SWBAT: create a short film documentary on an animal(s) of their choice, focusing on their lifestyle and their plight of survival in today’s world.

Anticipatory Set: Be sure that you have your note sheet, go over rules of the field trip.

Presentation: individual

Guided Practice: Teacher will tell students that they will be filming their chosen animal with the school flip cams (or their own camera, should they have one). Students will break off and begin filming at the Buffalo Zoo, focusing on the conditions that the animals live in, what they look like, how they act, etc.

Individual Practice: Students will use the flip cams to record their animal at the zoo, focusing on material that will be useful for whatever angle they decide to create their movie from.

Closure: Be sure to bring your video to class tomorrow.

Day 4:
Essential Question: How are humans affecting the ways in which animals survive in today’s world? What obstacles must certain animals overcome in order to survive? What outlets can be used to inform others about these animals? SWBAT: create a short film documentary on an animal(s) of their choice, focusing on their lifestyle and their plight of survival in today’s world.

Anticipatory Set: Upload your video to the Tool Factory Movie Maker program.

Presentation: individual

Guided Practice: Teacher will give a refresher on the Movie Maker Program (students will already have been familiar with the program from a previous project involving animation).

Individual Practice: Over the next week, students will use the footage acquired through the program to create a documentary on their animal.

Closure: Report your daily progress on your worksheet.

***This assignment can be done individually in a small class, or in groups for larger classes.
Name________________________
Date____________
English10 Honors
Per___

Earth Day Documentary:
Speaking Up for the Animals

Directions: For this project, you will be researching AND filming an animal of your choice. After doing so, you will create a TEN MINUTE documentary, narrated by you, that caters to one of the following prompts. You will be using the new Tool Factory Movie Maker software to create the documentary.

Option #1: Create a documentary that shows the conditions that your animal lives in at the zoo. Are they treated well? Do they seem happy at the zoo? Speak with a zookeeper to get another perspective on the topic. This can be either a revealing or reassuring documentary!

Option #2: After researching your animal and the ways in which their kind is diminishing, create a documentary using your footage that explains the plight of the _______________(insert animal here). This may be told from any perspective that you wish (yours, the animal's, omniscient narration, etc.).

Option #3: If you have another idea for your documentary, see me for approval.


Do not forget:
• You must research your animal before filming and outline the angle that you want to approach the documentary from. This will aid you in filming and editing your documentary.
• You can add various effects to your movie using Movie Maker, including music, still pictures, etc.
• Make the documentary as powerful as possible. You want the viewer to be affected mentally and emotionally.
Follow-Up
After creating the documentary, students will tie the ideas presented in their own movie back to the novel read before this unit.
Materials: Video Tools, Authoring and Publishing, Podcasting, Word Processor, Camera Bags, Flip Video