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1950's Socio-Cultural Mini Documentary

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Keywords: , Flip Video
Subject(s): Social Studies, History
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
View Full Text of Standards
School: Charles City High School, Charles City, IA
Planned By: Robert Pittman
Original Author: Robert Pittman, Charles City
1950’s America Flip Video Mini-Documentaries

Students are going to create mini-documentaries, using the Flip Video recorders that detail certain aspects of life during the 1950’s in America. The documentaries need to be historically accurate, original to the students, creative, storyboarded, have scenery and costumes, and have a script with dialogue and actions. The documentaries should focus on the topic and its social and cultural impact during this time period. Be creative and funny.

-GI Bill and Suburbs
-Baby Boom
-Women in home and workforce
-Leisure and Sports
-Automobile Culture
-Atom Bomb
-Rock ‘n’ Roll and Beat Movement

-Chapter27 in textbook (Atom Bomb is in Chapter 26)
-Library books

-Costumes and Scenery
-Everyone’s Participation
-Historical Accuracy

Timeline: Day 1: Organize and Research, Day 2: Research and Storyboard, Day 3: Script and Scenery, Day 4: Shoot, Day 5: Edit and Present

Rubric: 50 Points


5 Points
Students create a storyboard that outlines their documentary and direction

12.5 points
Students develop a thorough script that includes stage direction and highlights the social and cultural impact of their topic
Costumes and Scenery

10 points
Students create scenery and costumes that accentuate their documentary (You do not have to tailor complete outfits, but if you have something, use it)
Historical Accuracy

12.5 Points Students’ documentary is accurate and precise. They coherently highlight the subjects’ affect on America’s social history.


10 Points
Students are on task and focused the entire time. They work on the project for homework. They are positive and productive with other team members.
Students worked well together and enjoyed the activity. Telling them and putting them on my website forced them to make better products.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Using poetry and literature from the 1950's is a good way to go. One of my groups recited some of "Howl" by Alan Ginsberg.
Links: School Tube-Atomic Bomb
School Tube-Sports and Lesiure
School Tube-Beat Movement
Materials: LCD Monitors, Flip Video