Film Curriculum Course Descriptions
In Middle School Exploratory, our students become immersed in our hands-on “film lab” creating and editing original works using our state of the art computers with video-editing capabilities. Students survey a variety of topics ranging from the history of animation, to story-development, storyboarding, stop-motion animation, music, sound and editing. We will have several guest speakers who share over the course of the semester who have studied film or work in the film industry. We will be watching a variety of clips from films as well as many short films. However, we will not have time to screen any full-length films in their entirety during class. Students will be asked to watch at least one full-length movie at home as a homework assignment. All material we screen in class is carefully selected to be educational, enriching and age-appropriate.
Course Objectives: For our Film Studies section through Middle School Exploratory, course objectives have been taken and adapted from the core principles of Media Literacy Education and are as follows:
- To encourage active inquiry and critical thinking about the media messages we receive and create
- To provide practical technical instruction for media creation and expand the concept of literacy to include not just reading and writing but creation of all forms of media.
- To learn to use media for a variety of purposes including: artistic expression, persuasion, community-building and civic engagement.
In 6th Grade we focus on introduction to film and especially on animation. Through this course, we survey a variety of topics ranging from history of animation, to story-development, storyboarding, stop-motion animation, music, sound and editing.
In 7th Grade we focus especially on documentary films. During this course, we survey a variety of topics ranging from the history of documentary film and community storytelling to documentary planning, production and editing.
In 8th Grade we focus especially on fiction films. Students in this course survey a variety of topics ranging from the history of film, to story-development, screenwriting, cinematography, directing and editing.
Students are expected to be on their best behavior during class, especially as we will be having several special guests come in and share with us throughout the semester. Students are expected to be respectful, listen and follow directions, raise their hand to speak, and use common sense and show courtesy at all times.
In the computer lab it is extremely important that students do not touch or use the computers for any purpose unless specifically instructed to do so by the teacher or guest speaker.
Assignments and Grading
Grades will be based entirely upon student participation during class and the successful completion of two or three small assignments each quarter, as well as one final project. Our final project for the class will be to create a short documentary film that will be screened at our annual Middle School Film Festival.