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Grades 6–8
6 Sessions; 3 Hours Each (Adaptable!)
Informational, Media, Narrative

Documentary Filmmakers

Students dive into documentary filmmaking, applying what they've learned about the documentary genre, story arcs, film production, and film editing to direct an original documentary film.
SESSION 1 OF 6
Previous Session

Genre Introduction & Team Building

What is a documentary? How can we use different techniques and storytelling methods to convey tone, perspective, place, and more? How can we bring our own perspectives together to tell a cohesive story?
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Lesson instructions
What Your Students Will Learn

Your students will get to know their group and group leaders (if applicable), understand the goals and scope of a documentary project, view wide-ranging examples of documentaries to understand how different tones and perspectives affect the story being told, and start to explore genre through an initial creative writing exercise.

Common core standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2.B
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2.D
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.2.B
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.2.D
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.2.B
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.2.D
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
What Your Students Will Produce