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And Action!

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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Credits Chapter 1: Setting the Scene: A Rationale for Student Documentaries in the Classroom Chapter 2: Writing with Light: Preparing for a Documentary Project Chapter 3: Getting a Grip: Phase I - Research Chapter 4: Making the Pitch: Phase II - Documentary Treatment Chapter 5: Framing the Story: Phase III - Storyboarding Chapter 6: Quiet on the set! Phase IV - Film Production Chapter 7: Premiering the Films: Sharing Student Work Chapter 8: It's a Wrap: Parting Thoughts to Executive Producers Appendix A: Documentary Rubric Appendix B: Core Argument Template Appendix C: Sample Core Argument Template Appendix D: Documentary Treatment Template Appendix E: Sample Documentary Treatment Template Appendix F: Storyboard Template Appendix G: Documentary Tool Comparison Chart Appendix H: Student Production Role Checklist

About the Author

Kathy Swan is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Kentucky whose research focuses on standards-based technology integration, authentic intellectual work, and documentary-making in the social studies classroom. Swan has been a four-time recipient of the National Technology Leadership Award in Social Studies Education, innovating with web-based interactive technology curricula. Mark Hofer is an associate professor of educational technology in the School of Education at the College of William & Mary whose research focuses on curriculum-based technology integration, classroom documentary filmmaking, and educational technology professional development. He is the co-creator of the Historical Scene Investigation Project, the Digital Directors Guild and Digital Docs in a Box.


And Action! offers a road map to guide a teacher in the production of students' documentary projects. Swan and Hofer very competently outline the particular steps involved in designing a documentary in order to help teachers either avoid some of the most commonly encountered problems or at least mitigate some of the effects to create a more seamless process. Potential problems that teachers may encounter are addressed. One teacher comments, 'If I had only known then what I know now about the documentary film process, I would have . . .' It should be noted that the authors do not get too detailed in the technical aspects of video production because of the wide range of hardware and software products in schools. However, of particular value is the information regarding copyrighted material and the Fair Use Act along with the compendium of informative template appendixes. A rubric template is also provided to use as a tool to assess students' projects and how the design of the projects line up with common core standards. This book is a great resource for teachers who want to add documentary filmmaking to their practice. Summing Up: Recommended. Professional collections. * CHOICE * Swan and Hofer move beyond advocacy and do the hard work of teaching us how we equip students with the knowledge and skills to do documentary making well. As students creatively build evidence-based arguments and interpretations on important social issues and events, they are developing civic skills necessary to sustaining a vibrant democracy. If you are an ambitious teacher looking for powerful ways to engage your students in the kind of authentic intellectual work that should be a part of any learning experience, And Action! Directing Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom is an essential resource to help move you along on your professional journey. -- Susan Griffin, executive director, National Council for the Social Studies As a former social studies teacher myself, I know that the power of this discipline is activated when we engage students in projects that help them investigate questions that matter to them in ways that are informed by the historical, social, geographical, and cultural world that surrounds them. The approach described in this book rests on a sophisticated 21st century understanding of the social technologies that permeate kids' lives and the ways they can be used instructionally to invigorate and support the complex literacy practices associated with personally meaningful and civic minded action. I love this book - it's well written and accessible. I love this approach - it's doable for every teacher. I love the possibility it provides to our communities - when students take an intentionally active stance on experiences based upon thoughtful analysis of events and people we get authentic, excited, and civically engaged members. -- KaiLonnie Dunsmore, Ph.D., associate director, National Center for Literacy Education And Action! is a valuable guide for teachers seeking to engage students in the acquisition of 21st century skills through the creation of digital documentary projects. It presents examples of 21st century learning in action and provides research-based tools, reproducible resources and practical advice from the field for educators. -- Helen A. Soule, Ph.D., executive director, Partnership for 21st Century Skills Making documentaries is a powerful educational experience, but it can seem daunting. And Action! makes the whole process understandable and manageable. It is based on extensive research, real-world examples, and the authors' own practical experience. Inspiring as well as informative and wise, it is the must-read book for teachers who make documentaries. Anyone who reads it will want to be one of those teachers. -- Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene professor of citizenship and public affairs, Tisch College, Tufts University & director, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) In And Action!, Swan and Hofer have made an important contribution to the literature on school documentary making and on teaching social studies in ambitious ways. Although they cannot add more hours to the instructional day, Swan and Hofer offer the kind of practical insights into documentary making that should help teachers see the vast potential inherent in this engaging instructional approach. -- S. G. Grant, professor and dean, Graduate School of Education, Binghamton University How well our children learn geography today will in large measure determine the success their generation will have in coping with Earth's environmental conditions, preserving our natural resources, formulating national policy, and shaping global understanding in the future. We owe them no less than to equip them with the best possible tools we can devise. This book is part of that process by providing teachers with guidance for history's most tech-savvy generation-their own K-12 students. Example-rich and employing a thoughtful approach, And Action! will broaden young people's world-awareness while encouraging them to explore and refine their own storytelling perspective. -- Gilbert M. Grosvenor, chairman emeritus, National Geographic Society If you are a teacher who values authentic, experiential learning opportunities to engage learners, And Action! is the perfect resource for you. This book gives teachers the "success formula" for an innovative, project-based learning experience for their students. Easy to integrate into instructional best practices, And Action! has it all: research skills, literacy skills, communication skills, technology skills, and critical thinking skills. I especially like the production process outlined in the book. I feel confident that I can guide students through a digital filmmaking process and facilitate meaningful learning opportunities that empower students to take ownership for their learning as they acquire critical thinking and filmmaking skills that they can apply throughout their lifetimes. A must-have for teachers who want to stay fresh and keep their students engaged in learning! -- Kristen Wojdan, M.Ed., director of the Heritage Education Project, American Heritage Society New technologies are a constant feature of education these days, but rarely do we see as thoughtful a consideration as this book offers for how to use technology in the classroom. Swan and Hofer pull back the curtain on documentary film making in social studies and provide teachers with an invaluable guide for innovative teaching and learning. This book offers a groundbreaking approach to teaching and learning social studies education. Swan and Hofer break down the complexities of documentary film and give teachers a compelling story about how to elevate their practice through student inquiry and film. The combination of intellectual and practical guidance in this book is refreshing. Documentary film is hard work for sure, but Swan and Hofer break down that process for teachers who aspire to go beyond the everyday. -- John Lee, associate professor of social studies education, North Carolina State University

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