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Numerous mediateacher posts have explored media literacy and its integral relationship to social studies in contemporary education, including Media Manipulation: An Ongoing Story, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Clash at Lincoln Memorial, Media Literacy and Social Studies: Portraits of America, and Infekted Minds. Currently, our tumultuous times bring us what seem to be daily examples of media messages intersecting with how events are actually playing out and the ways in which we process them. Here is a striking example of a video essay from the op-ed pages of the New York Times: The Bill of Rights, Revised. This can serve as a resource for classroom debate along with linked viewpoints and journalistic reporting from a range of online, print, video, and audio media resources.

Telling History

Students involved in producing media projects are telling their own stories, and at times these creations become historical artifacts. With the first pandemic in over a century spreading throughout the world, students are connecting to teachers, other students, and their learning through virtual interactions. By depicting a particular moment in time as it develops, we may end up capturing pieces of history and creating artifacts that becomes primary source documents. Here is one example of a project made recently by Hannah Schweitzer, one of my high school students. It is an example of the Portrait Project that is the primary video production exercise in Chapter 5 of Moving Images.

In earlier posts, mediateacher.net has featured posts that highlight lessons that can be learned from study of movies from the Star Wars franchise, particularly with Rogue One and innovative work in sound design.  Along with the superbly detailed book The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film by J.W. Rinzler, there is this YouTube video that explores how George Lucas arrived at his final cut of Star Wars through the work of his editors Paul Hirsch, Richard Chew, and Marcia Lucas) and which can be very eye-opening to students about the development of story and the power of the editing process (and all of the stages of movie production) in arriving at the definitive version of a film.

So there are lists all over the place, of course, to mark raves and disses across the spectrum of motion picture media, for the year or the decade past.  I really liked this one with a nice theme curated by the folks at Criterion: Hidden Gems of the 2010s. And it’s worth it just to see the suggestion for Twin Peaks to “become part of the core curriculum of high schools across this country.” Hahaha, we’ll see about that!

And for documentaries? Try this list from Paste, which has informative intros for their 30 choices.

There was this interesting piece from a couple of years ago picking 25 best movies for this century so far (until then, at least), and it has a link to choices from Sofia Coppola, Denis Villeneuve, and Alex Gibney, among others. Speaking of Villeneuve and Coppola, Dune and On the Rocks are both due in 2020!

I am presenting Media Creation in Action: MLE Collaborative Principles in the Classroom at the Northeast Media Literacy Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 8, 2019.  Welcome to my presentation!

Here is a pdf of the slideshow. Here is one of the exercises described through the case study.

Don’t forget this post with screenwriting resources!  Here is the interview referenced in the case study.