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Using this curriculum unit, seventh grade students will become more aware of the values and struggles of minorities and ethnic groups in the United States. As students view select films, they will be asked to develop a portfolio that demonstrates skills in writing, creative thinking and the ability to differentiate between fact and fiction. The students will examine the origins, development and significance of ethnic representations in American film. They will explore the various ways films helped to shape people’s perceptions of themselves and the world about them.
Since motion pictures serve many functions a form of art, entertainment, an instrument of propaganda, a medium of social change, and a transmitter of cultural values and events the students will research facts shown in certain films (Glory, Pocahontas, and Mississippi Burning) through written materials (print and electronic print) and the INTERNET. Hopefully, students will develop a systematic way to view films and distinguish what is fact and what is fiction.
(Recommended for History/Social Studies, grades 7-12)