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Living Legends Video Griot Project

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Keywords: Griot, history, autobiography, technology, video production
Subject(s): Social Studies, Video, Social Skills, Technology, Journalism, Drama, History, 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: Black Star Educational Institute, Atlanta, GA
Planned By: C. Omisade Richardson
Original Author: C. Omisade Richardson, Atlanta
-I will open the lesson by telling an interactive story with a historical perspective, using music and visual imagery. At the end of the story students will answer questions on the historical content.
-I will then explain to the students the history and definition of griot (keeper of oral history) and provide them with various examples. For example, students will watch 'The Language We Cry In' to see how the family song that has been passed down from generation to generation was able to connect a displaced family to their cultural roots.
-Students will watch clips from various documentaries to glean ideas on how to splice resources together to tell a story (i.e. A Great and Mighty Walk)
-Students will place themselves into groups of three.
-Each group will identify community elders that have participated in significant historical movements.
-Students will contact elders to set up meetings on Friday to listen to their stories and begin to outline their projects.
-Students will research the elders and compose their interview questions.
-Students will interview elders and take notes.
-Students will set up video shoot slots for the following week.
-Students will conduct research on different terms and issues that come out of the initial interview
-Students will compile research, pictures, and music that will assist them in telling their stories.
-Students will shoot footage with the elders and around the city for their personal documentaries.
-Students will work on editing their footage.
-Students will turn their finished products in on Friday.
-Screenings will begin the following week in the presence of the elders.

This lesson plan represents a general plan. Students will be given more time ito complete the project if needed.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This activity incorporates ELA, history, art, video production, and cultural studies.
Students can produce a community video series.
Materials: Video Cameras, Microphones, Electronics, Video Tools, Camera/Video Accessories, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Inspiration, Slideshow, Clip Art, Timeline, Animation, Music, Internet Services, Student Resources, Prof. Dev. Workshops, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 5 Video camera, $200 each, total of $1000.00
Video Editing Program (with multiple access), $700 each
5 Updated Laptops, $500 each, total of $2500.00