I started off by thinking that it would be easy to knock out a quick piece on my top ten favorite history movies. But that idea lasted about a minute. There are so many movies that I’ve enjoyed. And as Amazon, Netflix, and every other online and cable channel are pumping out movies left and right, it’s hard to keep up.
So . . . I decided to make a couple of lists: My top ten faves. Other great movies that aren’t the top seeds. And a list of movies about teachers and schools because . . . well, I enjoyed them.
And since these are my lists and we know that it’s all about me, there isn’t any real criteria for inclusion. Some would be good for instructional purposes. Some not. Some are more historically accurate than others. Others are “based on actual events.”
The only sorta, kinda rule is if the movie appears while I’m channel surfing, it wins control of the remote and must be watched through to the end credits.
So . . . my favorites in no particular order: Read more
If you haven’t bookmarked Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day page yet, well . . . I’ll wait. Head over and take care of that.
Larry teaches ELL and mainstream kids in California while maintaining Websites of the Day, writing for the New York Times and Washington Post, teaching undergrad ed classes, and hosts a weekly podcast. And it’s all awesome.
I share this because I’m always finding something new and cool on Larry’s site. Yesterday was no different. Read more
Television’s most-watched history series, American Experience has been hailed as “peerless” by the Wall Street Journal, “the most consistently enriching program on television” by the Chicago Tribune, and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” by the Houston Chronicle.
And for what it’s worth, I like it too.
Seriously. Good. Stuff. Read more
You may be getting tired of hearing about the work of Sam Wineburg. I do talk about his stuff a lot. I do.
But it’s because the stuff created by Wineburg and others over at the Stanford History Education Group is so good. I’m sure you’ve all been to their site and looked at the 80+ lesson plans – all structured around the concepts of high level historical thinking. I’m sure you’ve all been to the newer Beyond the Bubble historical thinking assessment site.
But perhaps all of you have not seen the the very useful Reading Like a Historian videos. The SHEG people have put together a great series of videos that demonstrated what historical thinking looks like.
I posted my favorite movies the other day.
And, yes, I’m probably encouraging the stereotype of social studies teachers / coaches showing movies every week so that they can read the newspaper, break down game film, or drink coffee. But I will always argue that appropriate use of video clips and movies is great for kids.
So some resources to help break the stereotype:
Teaching History has some great articles and suggestions for using movies in your instruction. What Do Students Learn from Historical Feature Films provides information about how you can help kids analyze historical videos as historians. Teaching with Historical Film Clips provides a useful list for creating a lesson plan that integrates movie clips.
The people at Truly Moving Pictures also have a couple of handy tools. The first is a nice PDF guide for parents and educators that provides suggestions for activating positive emotions during viewing. They also have extensive curriculum guides for a variety of feel-good movies. Not all would work in a social studies classroom but there several such as The Express and Glory Road that could be used.
A great book is Teaching History with Film: Strategies for Secondary Social Studies. Great Films and How to Teach Them is another one.
There are lots of other useful tools out there. Check out these resources for more ideas and suggestions: