Implementation of ‘In Retrospect: Filming Through the Ages’ (SOI-HR-156)

This is the story of implementation of the learning scenario named ‘In Retrospect: Filming Through the Ages‘ written by Angeliki Kougiourouki. It deals with the history of cinema, the development of movie cameras and the first movie creators. It was implemented with a small group of eighth-grade students who were also involved in another Europeana project and are familiar with using the Europeana resources.

Why this learning scenario?

I have chosen this learning scenario because it is very interdisciplinary and the topic is very interesting. It also helps improve students’ collaboration and communication skills. I mostly followed the original scenario, only some parts were adjusted to fit my students’ needs and preferences.

Students discovering the cinema world
Students discovering the cinema world

21st-century skills developed

The implementation of this learning scenario helped my students to develop their creativity skills since they had to create their own presentations related to cinema tools as well as a timeline about the history of cinema, their own crafts and movie posters. It also contributed to the development of students’ critical thinking skills as they were asked to think about the role that cinema played and continues to play in people’s lives as a new technique of movement recording and visualization and as a means of transmitting messages and entertainment.

Moreover, the learning scenario implemented was beneficial for improving students’ collaboration skills as students worked in groups in order to complete most of the tasks. Finally, with the tasks performed, students improved their information management, media and digital literacy skills.

Students performing various cinema-related tasks
Students performing various cinema-related tasks

How did the implementation go?

Getting familiar with the history of movies

As an introduction, we saw a movie called “The History of Movies”. After that, I divided students into pairs and gave them a worksheet containing instructions and links to the Europeana resources. They were tasked to go through the information available on Europeana about different filming devices and put the devices in the right order: from the oldest to the newest. It was done using a simple timeline making tool.

Designing a Charlie Chaplin puppet and making a movie

One student who is very creative and excellent at drawing was tasked to make a paper puppet of Charlie Chaplin, a famous comic actor, filmmaker and a composer from the era of silent movies. The idea was to use the puppet and some props in order to shoot a short silent movie.

During the next lesson, we took lots of photographs, inserted them into MovieMaker, added appropriate music and created a Charlie Chaplin silent movie named “Mr Chaplin’s Weather Troubles“. The movie is extremely simple but gave students the idea of how movies were made in the past.

Making a Charlie Chaplin puppet
Making a Charlie Chaplin puppet

Creating a poster and making a movie camera

Another student, who is also good at drawing proposed the idea to make a poster announcing the film projection at the local cinema. A student who is very handy expressed the wish to make a cardboard movie camera. All the students were busy and performed their roles in the teams.

Evaluation of the activities

At the end of the lesson, we did the quiz prepared by Angeliki, included in the original learning scenario. In addition, I did a “3-2-1 activity” by asking students to write 3 facts about the history of cinema, 2 people responsible for the development of film technology and 1 thing they would like to know more about.  

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario:

In Retrospect: Filming Through the Ages by Angeliki Kougiourouki

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here

The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and belongs to the public domain.

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