How do you design a culminating project that simultaneously holds students accountable for reading, writing, and critical thinking skills while maintaining a high level of engagement?
Why do a Documentary? It covers all of the skills of an essay but reduces work and student anxiety.
This Documentary project is designed course capping project that will assess and expand upon the key critical thinking skills (Cause & Effect, Compare & Contrast, Summary & Evaluation, Analysis and Synthesis) while streamlining and shifting your grading from a dreaded end of semester slog to a quick-to-grade celebration of student learning.
Time(10-14 hours of class time): Unless you have particularly motivated students with internet access at home, you will need to give students sufficient in-class time to complete most of the project. You can achieve this by setting aside a single block of class time or by doing this project in pieces (a little each week) across the space of a full Semester.
Deep Google Integration: This project is designed to be used with google docs, google classroom and is chromebook friendly! However, pen and paper versions of all steps of the assignment (except for video creation) are included!
End on a High Note: The project ends with an awards ceremony. On the last day, you simply play the videos. Students will be prompted to take notes and vote for their favorite documentaries in the following categories:
--Best Narration: Most unnecessarily dramatic narration
--Best Effects: Reasonably good visual effects for a documentary
--Best Writer: Historically accurate and insightful dialogue
--Best Picture: A Documentary that I might watch on purpose
While students watch, you can grade using the simple and clear rubric.
Afterwards, the google forms based vote (included) will be auto tallied and you can print/present the awards.
-A complete 55 page Teacher's guide (including pictures, step by step instructions, pen and paper versions of all steps of the assignment and even printable awards).
-Google Docs, Slides and Forms based worksheets for all steps of the project, complete with built in instructions and scaffolding (designed to be assigned directly in google classroom).
Extend upon these skills:
If you plan on using this project to end your school year you might want to take a look at our 1930's Radio Show Project as well. It is designed as a midterm and can be a great training ground for many of the skills encountered here.