Teaching Tools

Curricular Alignment Overview

Curricular Alignment Overview

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

Classroom teachers can use this guide to find ways to align their existing curriculum with filmmaking in the classroom. Sample lessons are meant to be adaptable to existing coursework and to allow for maximum integration into each classroom teacher’s existing work.

Filmmakers and teachers should familiarize themselves with the content in this guide prior to conducting a classroom program, but are encouraged to customize their programs as needed. Questions, exercises and suggested media samples are ideas that are meant to be used as jumping-off points for stimulating discussions and analytical thought.

Filmmaker instructors and classroom teachers are encouraged to tailor their lessons to make use of existing resources and to utilize their personal teaching strengths, provided they target their lessons to the educational objectives of the project and the unique circumstances of the classroom.

A step-by-step guide to tailoring the FilmEd. curriculum to your classroom:

1. Define your program goals.  

2. Work collaboratively with your teaching team and any visiting artists to plan your program, using the program and lesson planning worksheets (located in the Lesson Library).

3. Select a cumulative project (you should only choose one, but multiple groups in one classroom can complete the same type of project). Cumulative project suggestions are located in the Classroom Film Projects section of this guide.

4. Select formative projects that support the cumulative project. Examples of formative projects are also located in the Classroom Film Projects section.

5. Choose media to watch and discuss in the classroom that will support all cumulative and formative projects. We offer suggestions for media to watch in the classroom in the Appendices.

6. Make sure you have the appropriate technology to execute your plans. For suggestions about how to make use of available technology, consult the Planning Processes section of this guide.

One of the key concerns that teachers have when integrating arts education into their classroom is ensuring that the process of art making supports the ongoing learning that is key to the success of their students. Fortunately, film is a medium that lends itself extraordinarily well to project-based learning, as well as alignment with the newly implemented Common Core standards, and allows for a number of summative and formative assessments that won’t interrupt the joy and magic that creating media provides for young people in a school setting.

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