This is my fourth blog post for International High School, teaching a 12th grade class with documentarian Chris Metzler and teacher Mr. David! We did a lot of activities in this class last week which I'm super excited to share with you all. Let's start with the acitivity of watching a short documentary: "Superman" (http://vimeo.com/52311932)
So, we started watching this short documentary about an actor who has been playing Superman on Hollywood blvd for 17 years--super interesting story, highly recommend it! As we watched the video, we were keeping in mind what kinds of questions the filmmaker was asking "Superman" as well as "Mrs. Superman" based on their different responses. This was a great exercise because we were coming up with open questions as opposed to closed questions that only require a yes or no answer. Instead, we were thinking about questions like "How do you feel about..." and "Can you tell me more about..." which is helpful for the students to practice for their own documentaries that they will be making for the end of the semester project!
Next, the students broke up into groups and asked Chris, Mr. David, and I about our interest in film with scirpted questions. They had to come up with follow-up questions to ask us after we answered. This was also an EXCELLENT exercise because it was in a low stress environment and they felt like they could express their curiousity in a safe space.
The last thing we did in class was possibly the most tedious but most important parts of our entire lesson: we got the students into their documentary groups and got a google doc for all of them to share and look at. They set up a basic time line of when they would be able to meet to practice interview questions, when they would actually go do their interviews, what their documentaries were about, and more. This is SO important! Letting the students think and act for themselves while still guiding them in the right direction to be most efficient as possible!
I am very much enjoying my experience at International High school--I love working with Chris and Mr. David and the students are so eagar to learn and excited they have the liberty of making their own documentaries. They have a space to express their own voices and I am pleased to be a part of that!
Thanks and talk to you all soon!