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From Africa to America: The Untold Story

by
Beverly Rice-Hooper


Contents of Curriculum Unit 06.01.09:

To Guide Entry


Overview

Haile Gerima, an Ethiopian independent filmmaker, stated that "we must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we can understand why and how we came to be who we are today." (1) Hence, I have created this unit in order that African-American youth will have the opportunity to reclaim their past and move forward with pride and dignity into the future. (I would also note here that though this unit is geared toward improving the self image of African American youth it does not exclude other races or nationalities. Actually, it could prove to be quite beneficial for all people who struggle with who they are.) I will compare four relevant films and novels and discuss their similarities and impact on society today. In addition, I will share ideologies of the various authors and filmmakers to contrast significant differences and use of narrative voice.

As a teacher in a school district with a population of 98% African American students, I feel that it is crucial to trace the history of Africans in America, and the underlying theme of understanding our past in order to move forward into the future. It is equally in important that students understand their heritage and the experiences of their ancestors. Social and culture transitions will be the basis of the unit. The films and novels chosen will offer different perspectives but continue with the same theme throughout. Through discussions, journal writing, group collaboration, charts, graphic organizers, and research students will explore the central theme and its relevance to our society.

All across America teachers and parents fear that students' increasing affinity for visual media comes at the expense of their reading and analytical abilities. But to believe that students are not using reading and analytical skills when they watch or "read" a movie is to miss the power and complexities of film-and of students' viewing processes. In my research of African film history, I will attempt to provide a lively, practical guide enabling teachers to feel comfortable and confident about using the works of great African film directors and other films that depict a historical picture of the African culture. I will directly link film and literary study by using companion novels and addressing reading strategies and key aspects of textual analysis. I will further explain key terminology and cinematic effects.

As English teachers, we feel comfortable discussing the important elements of a poem, short story, or novel because we have had practice and background in discussing the effect that, say, word choice, meter, imagery, or point of view is supposed to have on the reader. We know that a poet using a particular rhyme scheme or metaphor is no doubt doing it on purpose, and we are able to guide our students to recognize the craft of the writer in doing so. Like the poet, a filmmaker uses various devices and techniques for a desired effect.

When a director uses a particular lighting choice or camera angle, for example, he or she may be trying to say something about the character or situation. It is this fine attention to the craft of the director that will assist us later in applying critical analysis to the craft of the writer of a print text. My goal is to make teachers feel as comfortable with film as we are with discussing literature. I will introduce and define terms used by the filmmaker such as: framing, focus, angles, camera movement, lighting, sound, editing, etc.

From the literary analysis aspect, we can focus specifically on word choice and syntax in film and literature; a series of short clips with some of the most famous lines from films might be effective. In addition, tone could be separated from setting as another topic for analysis. Another possibility would be to use film clips to help students understand how foreshadowing gets used, and to what effect. As we incorporate film into the classroom we must understand that film does not only help students analyze literature but also helps them create it. We can utilize film to improve students' fiction writing that might occur if we use film clips as examples of good characterization, setting, dialogue, and so on. We will include exercises where students might be asked to continue a scene, write an ending, image new setting, develop an appropriate symbol, rewrite from a different point of view-or anything else that would be helpful for creative writing.

Finally, the objective is to examine a variety of aspects in film and to view film from a unique perspective, but ultimately students will be taught to analyze film with the same passion that literature is analyzed.

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Rationale

The film study unit that I am going to teach is a unit that I feel is quite urgent in the society that we live in today. I feel that Hollywood filmmakers have depicted the African-American race with such degradation that in order to reclaim the minds of young African-Americans the true story must be told.

I have chosen four films and four novels to use to give students a direct view of where the African-American race has been to help them understand where they need to go. The films being used are: Sankofa, written, directed and produced by Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima. Amistad was written by David Franzoni and directed by Steven Spielberg. Hotel Rwanda was written by filmmaker Terry George and co-screen writer, Keir Pearson. The screenplay Beloved was written by Akosua Busia a prince from Ghana. The companion novels are: Kindred, by Octavia Butler, Mutiny on the Amistad, by Howard Jones, Hotel Rwanda, (Bringing the True Story of and African Hero to Film), by Terry George and Keir Pearson, and Beloved, by Toni Morrison. The authors of each of these novels will play a role in this unit. Not only are they diverse in race and gender, we will learn how financial support determines the depth of how we measure success.

Throughout the reading of the films and novels I will highlight the difference in the visual styles of the filmmakers, the acting, the language, and the use of music for dramatic effect. In the novels, the writing styles of the authors will be noted along with the themes of oppression and other human issues and dilemmas. I will demonstrate how all of the texts deal with these issues and feelings. I will discuss slavery and the impact African history have made on society today in an effort to help students understand and appreciate their past and the struggle, pain, and sacrifices, of others.

I will begin the unit by having an open discussion on slavery. I will give them a definition of slavery from the dictionary. I will discuss with student the fight against slavery. I will give students the opportunity to share their feelings about slavery. They can express what they have heard, what they have seen, the effects it may have had on society, and whether or not slavery has affected them personally. I will inform them that within this unit they will see a lot of injustice, oppression, suppression, and maybe feel some depression. It is important to focus on the thematic purpose for comprehension and enlightenment. I will show how enslaved black people in the new world of America are connected with their African past and its culture. Throughout the unit, I will introduce new vocabulary terms and how they relate to the study. I will discuss the backgrounds of the authors and how their view points on slavery vary. The different angles from which the films are produced may also be a reflection on the author. I will emphasis the importance of the author in both film and in the novel.

In class, we will read portions of the novel Kindred. I realize that it will take practically the entire year for the unit to be completed in its entirety; therefore we will only read certain chapters, pages, or lines to teach this novel. (The chapters are specifically stated in the lesson plan. However, the teacher's discretion can be utilized) I will give the students outside reading assignments, which will give students who would love to read the entire book an opportunity to finish the novel. I will provide the students with in depth discussions in class to enable them to fully understand and ask questions about their reading. After we have read and completed all assignment pertaining to the novel, I will show the film Sankofa. This novel is similar to Sankofa because it also tells the story of a black woman who travels back in time and becomes a slave. Also in the end both kill their tormentors. I will discuss comparisons and contrast with the students which will allow them to create a comparison/contrast chart.

I will point out the differences in the novel and the film by telling them, for example, that although Dana, in Kindred is pulled back in time to save a drowning boy, she remains aware of her twentieth century identity unlike Mona in Sankofa. (2)

I will help students to identify the plot, the setting, the protagonist, the antagonist, the rising action, and the falling action, and the recurring theme in both the film and the novel. I will assist them in identifying the cinematic effects of the film. I will help them take a closer look at the camera movement, the sound, the focus, and the importance of shots taken from specific angles.

I will model for the students giving them lead questions, which will help to identify the author's purpose. For example, why is the eagle continually looking back in the beginning of the film? What does society see when it continues to look into its past? Why is sound important in a film? For example at the beginning of Sankofa when we see pictures of African sculptures, including the Sankofo bird we hear African chanting and drums playing. The narrator (Sankofa's interpreter) begins speaking. Sankofa is calling out to the Spirits of the Dead-the stolen Africans. He speaks of their suffering and mistreatment and urges them to "rise up and possess your vessel. . .your bird of passage."(3)

Finally, I will demonstrate the important role that filmmakers and authors can play in defending the value of African culture as part of their assertion of their own pride in being black.

Amistad

Having understood the project of Sankofa, this unit now can compare Gerima's tone with that of another film, Amistad, from a director with a totally different background. These films share a central theme. . .the issue of slavery and race relations.

I will begin by reading portions of the novel, Mutiny on the Amistad, by Howard Jones, and then we will watch Amistad. Because of the difficulty in viewing the inhumane treatment in this film we will discuss the film and the novel together.

I will focus on images, emotions, and narrative voice as we view Amistad. The novel will be used as a supplement since it only briefly tells what the film is about. I do feel that it is important however that we read the printed text to build comprehension skills.

I will compare and contrast the independent black film maker Haile Gerima's struggles in making a film with the best known, wealthiest, and most influential filmmakers in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg. I will ask students to tell what the disadvantages are of making a film with no money. I will also ask them to list some advantages of making a film when there are no monetary limitations.

I will give an explanation of the author's point of view and perspective. I will illustrate how the point of view determines the author's tone or attitude toward a particular work. I will examine the harsh narrative voice used in Gerima's Sankofa and compare it to the understanding empathy conveyed in Spielberg's Amistad.

"Both Amistad and Sankofa depict the cruelty and injustices of slavery. Both demonstrate the horrific conditions of the Middle passage. Amistad shows how slaves were stripped of all their clothes, squeezed into a small storage area that was damp and dreary, and constantly whipped and beaten for no reason at all. These depictions are important because descriptions of the Middle passage are usually avoided since the conditions were so humane and humiliating to the slaves; scholars do not like to believe that whites could have been so cruel. While Amistad only shows the abuses that occur on the ship, Sankofo goes further to also demonstrate the abuses that occur on the plantation as well. Also Sankofo's theme centers on the importance of going back to the past in order to understand the present. Amistad does not focus on this concept but at the end, when John Quincy Adams is giving a speech to the Supreme Court, he says, "Who we are is who we were". One point the Amistad and Sankofo differ on is their depiction of the role of Christianity in slavery. While Sankofo portrays Christianity as an instrument of white oppression used to manipulate and control slaves, Amistad shows a slave being inspired by Christianity. (4)

Beloved

The third segment of this unit will focus on the film and the novel written by Toni Morrison, Beloved. Being black and female in today's society is a challenge within itself. I am sure that as Toni Morrison focuses on slavery, brief freedom, and a woman who struggles to survive, she incorporates some of her own experiences and personality.

This novel is quite extensive and can be difficult to read. I will spend most of this segment interpreting the film. I will challenge students to be creative as they view the movie, taking notes, and writing their own personal reactions.

I will use this film to teach word choice and syntax. I will point out certain passages and conversations during the film and ask students to write a comment using their own words. For example, the mother's need to escape; escape from what or from whom?

I will ask students to write about a time they felt they wanted to escape from something.

I will continue with the recurring theme of slavery and knowing our past in order to move into the future.

I will lead a discussion on the love that a mother has for her child, as we discuss some of the ways a mother will try to protect her child from dangers, disappointments, shame, etc.

Beloved and Sankofa both discuss slavery and the attempts to escape slavery at any costs. They also both address the fact that mothers feel especially determined to escape when they are about to have a child because they cannot stand to see their child born into slavery. In Sankofa, Kuta runs away because she wants her child to be born in a free land. In Beloved, Sethe attempts to run away immediately after she has had her third child in order to prevent her from becoming a slave. When she is caught, she goes even further-she kills her third child and attempts to kill her other two children in order to prevent them from being slaves. Sankofa and Beloved are also similar in that both involve the past history of slavery haunting the characters in the present. However, Beloved and Sankofa differ in the impact of the past. In Sankofa, going back to her past allows Mona to become free and makes her more confident about who she is. In Beloved, the connection to the past, in the form of Beloved's (murdered child's) ghost, drives Sethe insane and results in her sons' and lover's departure.(5)

Hotel Rwanda

As I stated in the introduction, film and literature are not enemies; in fact, they should be seen closely together because they share so many common elements and strategies to gain and keep the audience's attention. Educators know that for many of our students, film is much more readily accessible than print because of the visual nature and immediacy of the medium, but the very things that films do for us, good and active readers of literature have to do for themselves. With that similarity in mind, this unit deals primarily with isolating particular skills that we want active readers to possess and demonstrating how they can be introduced and practiced with film and then transferred to the written text. This philosophy, I think, reflects most classroom teachers' approach to reader-response theory that students should try to put themselves into a text before beginning the formal analysis and synthesis. All film does is make this leap easier.

In the final section of this unit, I will present one of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind that took place in the country of Rwanda. In an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news; the events went unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages. (6) The truly amazing thing about this film is that the events are an eyewitness account. This film is the real life story of Paul Rusesabagina, who exemplified courage to save 1,268 people from certain death while the rest of the world closed its eyes.

I will use the film Hotel Rwanda to tie this unit together. Using the literary account of Hotel Rwanda, Bringing the True Story of an African Hero to Film, written by a white filmmaker who struggled for three years to gain support and financing for this film, I will give students the opportunity to view film once again from another perspective.

Both Sankofa and Hotel Rwanda tell a story vastly different from the generally distorted representations of African people that Hollywood gives us. Many of the Hollywood made movies gives a distorted picture of what slavery actually looks like. Both films outline a long struggle which continues today, to escape exploitation and oppression, and to achieve genuine equality.

I will explain to the students that unlike other films depicting slavery, both Sankofa and Hotel Rwanda we actually see a movement through social, political and religious changes. The fight against slavery and a slave revolt are prominent parts of Sankofa. In Hotel Rwanda we see a fight to survive. I will demonstrate how the relationship between slavery and genocide cruelly coincides with injustice for all.

Because of the reality of the events I will review the elements of a story with this film and novel. I will focus on the plot, characters, setting, problem, and solution in viewing this film. I feel that it is crucial in a true story to help students understand the difference between real and imagined. I will ask students to write the plot or the main occurrences in the film. I will assist students in identifying the major characters and explain why they feel that there role is significant. I will give students background information on the country of Rwanda. I will discuss the culture, the language, and the land. I will ask students to write about the problem that the people in Rwanda are experiencing and to write a logical solution to the problem.

I will lead the class in a discussion on genocide. We will talk about the differences between mass murder, and the Africans who were killed during slavery. We will also draw a relationship and connect all of the films and novels as a unit. I will use a Venn diagram to demonstrate similarities and differences with both films and novels.

In conclusion, I have attempted to blend the contemporary reality of African descendents with the experience of slavery to help students deal with the psychological, cultura and political impact of that brutal event of all of our lives. Also in my efforts I have sought to empower black youth by showing how African peoples' desire for freedom made them resist, fight back, and conspire against their enslavers, and overseers to free them from oppression.

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Objectives

In accordance with the standards established by the Georgia Performance Standards for 9th-12th grade English/Literature students (see Appendix) and successfully reaching the target goals of AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) determined by NCLB (No Child Left Behind), and currently enforced by the Atlanta Public School District, I will focus on reading comprehension strategies.

The student will:

- become familiar with 4 films depicting slavery and dealing with the theme of understanding the past-dealing with the future';
- review the content knowledge of story elements: plot, characters, setting, problem, and solution;
- identify an important message/ theme(s)/ the main idea a story has;
- make connections between the story's message and personal experiences;
- analyze a story regarding the main characters' behavior and the consequences it has;
- recognize value of responsibility in the character's actions; the
- apply critical thinking to the possible problem solution in a story.

Skills Development:

- Students will write in a diary or personal journal;
- Students will describe story characters;
- Students will take notes as teacher presents information, during the film, in order to summarize key concepts;
- Students will summarize a story or a film;
- Students will locate information appropriate to an assignment in text or reference materials;
- Students will take a position and support it orally or in writing;
- Students will construct a chart synthesizing information;
- Students will act out a particular scene from a film;
- Students will work individually and cooperatively in groups;

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Strategies

Students will read the novels to compare and contrast the authors view point and perspectives and write a comparative essay.

Students will use the computers in the computer lab to do a web search on the background of "African Film writers" will introduce and re-enforce computer skills necessary for my students to succeed in today's technological society. Through a series of guided exercises, they will develop skills in research. After investigating the history of African films on the internet, the students will be asked to construct a model of it as a way to strengthen comprehension skills taught through direction reading and interpreting. It is very important that study skills and research techniques are thoroughly taught in advance.

As visual learners it will be necessary that the students will continue to see elements throughout the film that will depict reality in an effort for them to connect what they are learning to what they already know. I will begin this discussion by showing various clips from the films Hotel Rwanda and Beloved that highlight brokenness within the family. I will use certain images from the films to symbolize the efforts of the authors to make sense of slavery and to comprehend their relationship to affects of slavery.

Students will use resources available to research the real-life events that were depicted in the films shown. They will identify characters in the film that they or someone they know can relate.

Students will maintain a series of journal entries analyzing the filmmaker's purpose at several key points within the film. They will be encouraged to include drawings or poems as well in their journals reacting to the film's images.

Students will highlight the themes portrayed in the films and discuss how the themes were played out in cinematic, theatrical, and literary elements.

The final strategy will be dramatic scene writing, where students complete scenes that are only partially read or viewed in class. This instrument will encourage cooperation, increase writing skills, develop organizational skills, and present my students with a sense of fulfillment and pride of accomplishment. Using dramatic skills and those learned as the result of our discussion of film, the students will experiment with scene development.

I will use dramatic theme writing to allow students the opportunity to write in their journals the thoughts inspired by the films and the novels, as well as their reactions and expectations. This strategy will be useful to enhance writing skills, thought development, to expound upon vocabulary, and effective use of grammar. I will use a variety of methods to engage students. Several chapters of the novel will be read in class at times allowing students to ask questions as we read. We would also look at the most important words and phrases within a work. This will help us discuss why word choice is so important. Also, there would be a great deal of modeling. I would model different writing styles for my students as well as having them model the readings as they compare related films. For example, students will read from novel, Kindred, and then will write a comparison to the film, Sankofa.

As a teacher, it is important for me to identify the different learning styles of all the students. Some students will do quite well at writing creatively in a journal or writing an essay, and taking test and quizzes; while others quite obviously will struggle. It will be imperative for me to address the needs of these struggling students. I will do this by giving the students who are more visual learners an opportunity to draw pictures, to make posters, collages, or create images and bring them in for sharing. The students will engage in both cooperative and collaborative learning. They will participate in whole group, small group, and peer group activities. Students who are kinesthetic learners will lead their group by recreating scenes from the films and the novels to show the relation in time.

I will assess students daily to ensure that they understand what their task is. The students will conclude the unit by completing a portfolio. The portfolio will be a collection of notes taken from both the films and the novels. It will include all research materials, along with the bio of each of the authors of the films and novels. Students will be free to include any pictures, poems, and other artifacts. All handouts, tests, quizzes, and references will be a part of the portfolio and the final grade. Class participation will also be factored into the finality of the unit, which usually encourages students who are not as apt as others in reading comprehension and test taking to participate in class discussions.

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Film Study Unit Lesson Plan

Week one

Day & Date: TBD

Class: English Language and Literature

Unit: Sankofa/Kindred -- Film/Novel

Teacher: _______________________________________

Unit Objectives -- Given four literary works of contrasting genres and four films written by authors of diverse backgrounds students will analyze and compare the similarities of literature and film,

- Identify basic conflicts

- Recognize theme

- Analyze the development of plot in a film and a narrative text

- Identify elements of a film and use them to visualize and predict events of a story

- Identify and examine cause and effect

- Identify the effects of music and sound in a film

- Predict events in a film

- Examine character in a literary work

- Make inferences

- Draw conclusions

- Make judgments

- Understand literary forms and terms as appropriate to films

Standards

ELA11W1, ELA11W2, ELA11W3, ELA11W4, ELA11C1, ELA11C2, ELA11LSV1, ELA11LSV2

Anticipatory Set

Students will be guided in a discussion on what the literary terms mean

Teaching: Input

Teacher will give examples of the terms based on novels already read.

Teaching: Modeling

Teacher will demonstrate the correct usage of literary terms.

Teaching: Checking for Understanding

Teacher will circulate during assignment; answering questions and making sure students are on task. Attention paid to students who may be reluctant to ask questions, but who show signs of confusion.

Guided Practice

Independent Practice

Begin reading Chapter 1 from the novel

Students will spend period reviewing literary terms with an introduction to film terms and the novel Kindred

- Literary and Film terms

- Use dictionary to define unfamiliar terms

Closure

- Issue the novel to students. Students will write in their journal interesting facts that they read and be prepared to discuss in class

Materials

Novel, handout, notebook paper, writing utensils

Duration

85 minutes per day

Film Study Unit Lesson Plans

Week two

Day & Date: TBD

Class: English Language and Literature

Unit: Amistad -- Film/Novel

Teacher: _______________________________________

Objectives -- *See Week One

Standards

ELA11W1, ELA11W2, ELA11W3, ELA11W4, ELA11C1, ELA11C2, ELA11LSV1, ELA11LSV2

Anticipatory Set

- Handout: Character Analysis
- Handout: Plot Analysis
- Review the literary terms, protagonist and antagonist

Teaching: Input

- Go over directions and rubric for GGT writing pre-test.
- Tell students that they will take the same test at the end of the session to check for mastery.

Teaching: Modeling

Demonstrate the plot and character analysis chart

Teaching: Checking for Understanding

Teacher will circulate during testing, answering questions and making sure students are on task. Attention paid to students who may be reluctant to ask questions, but who show signs of confusion.

Guided Practice

Students will develop a plot and character analysis chart.

Independent Practice

Students will spend the remainder of the class working in groups comparing notes from plot and character analysis chart.

Closure

Collect tests. Students who do not finish will be permitted to finish the at home, to be returned the following day at the beginning of the class.

Materials

Novel, film, rubric, notebook paper, writing utensils

Duration

85 minutes per day

Week three

Day & Date: TBD

Class: English Language and Literature

Unit: Beloved -- Film /Novel

Teacher: _______________________________________

Objectives -- See Week One

Standards

ELA11W1, ELA11W2, ELA11W3, ELA11W4, ELA11C1, ELA11C2, ELA11LSV1, ELA11LSV2

Anticipatory Set

Icebreaker: Teacher's choice

Housekeeping

- Class procedures
- Literary analysis paper rubric
- Student-choice project guidelines and rubric:
- Theme in a Bottle or Character Suitcase
- Pass out the novel Beloved
- Pass out student supplies: sticky notes, binder, journal, etc.
Teaching: Input

- Handout: Literary and film terms (assign 2-3 easy terms to look for while reading Beloved)
- Handout:
- Brief explanation of the genre, highlighting Toni Morrison and Haile Gerima
- Preview by mentioning class group activity dealing Morrison's life and times
- Handout: Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Explanation of literary journal/sticky notes
- Handout: Ideas for thinking with sticky notes

Teaching: Modeling

Teacher demonstrates sticky-note thinking by reading and thinking aloud using the first page of Beloved. Be sure that your notes include at least one or two literary devices.

Teaching: Checking for Understanding

Explain about the idea of "connecting to a text" and ask students to give an example of something to which they connect, whether it's a movie or a TV show or something they've read.

Guided Practice

Students practice sticky-note thinking on second page of novel(with an eye toward the assigned lit terms), then share notes with partner. Partners will share two notes with the class, at least one being lit term-related.

Independent Practice

Students will sticky-note remainder of Beloved placing a minimum of two notes per page. Unfinished assignments can be completed for homework.

Closure

Remind students that the notes they take while watching the film will translate directly into their lit analysis paper, so practicing with Beloved makes sense.

Materials

Various handouts, short-story copies, writing utensils, sticky notes, highlighters

Duration

85 minutes per day

Week four

Day & Date: TBD

Class: English Language and Literature

Unit: Hotel Rwanda -- Film/Novel

Teacher: _______________________________________

Objectives -- See Week One

Standards

ELA11W1, ELA11W2, ELA11W3, ELA11W4, ELA11C1, ELA11C2, ELA11LSV1, ELA11LSV2

Anticipatory Set

- Write Right: Effective Openers
- Reviewing: Literary terms handout, place the life the Paul Rusesabagina in them

Teaching: Input

- Handout: Novel Notes (explanation in Teaching: Modeling below)
- Handout: Biography of Paul Rusesabagina

Teaching: Modeling

- Teacher demonstrates what the literary/film notes/lit journal looks like, models completed Table of Contents.
- Teacher thinks aloud, free writing in her journal on one of the topics provided in literary/film notes
- Teacher uses Paul Rusesabagina life and times to demonstrate product for life and times discussion, using sticky notes to mark important areas that may have affected his work or that relate to "Hotel Rwanda".

Teaching: Checking for Understanding

Students are questioned about lit journal requirements and format in a group setting.

Guided Practice

- Students complete the Table of Contents for their own lit journals, leaving page numbers blank to fill in at completion of film/literary notes
- Students free write on topic from film/literary notes.
- Students affix biographical and historical information in proper section of lit journal.

Independent/Group Practice

- Students break into groups, each with an assigned portion of his life and times. They read, sticky note and discuss, then come back to whole group and share highlights of their reading/discussion with the class.
- Class reads several chapters aloud. Student's sticky note as we go along. If we don't finish, students complete for homework. (Students should be reminded that they will be transferring sticky notes into lit journal upon completion of the film, and that notes will help with lit analysis paper. Minimum two notes per page, with an eye toward lit terms)

Closure

- Explain how historical context will play into lit analysis paper.
- Point out at least one lit term from reading.
- Review literary/film notes, focusing on "During Reading" activities
- Tell them that there will be a quiz over the reading on Friday.
- Remind students that they should be collecting materials for their project (magazine pictures, the bottle, etc.)

Materials

Various handouts, copy of play, journals, sticky notes, writing utensils, highlighters

Duration

85 minutes per day

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Appendix A: Glossary of Film Terminology

Framing/Shots

- Long shot (LS): a shot taken from some distance; shows the full subject and perhaps the surrounding scene as well.
- Establishing shot (ES): sets the scene or shows the space of a scene; often a long shot or series of shots.
- Close-up (CS): the image being shot takes up at least 80 percent of the frame. There is also the extreme close-up that would show one part of the body or a portion of an object.
- Medium shot (MS): in-between LS and CS; people are seen from the waist up.

Focus

- Soft focus: when a director intentionally puts his or her object slightly out of focus to make the image look softer or unclear.
- Rack focus: when a director shifts the focus from one object to another in the same shot in order to direct the audience's attention.
- Deep focus: when the foreground and background are equally in focus.

Camera Angles

- Low angle (LA): camera shoots subject from below; has the effect of making the subject look larger than normal -- strong, powerful, and threatening.
- High angle (HA): camera is above the subject; usually has the effect of making the subject look smaller than normal -- weak, powerless, trapped.
- Eye level (EL): accounts for 90 to 95 percent of the shots seen because it is most natural; camera is even with the key character's eyes.
- Dutch angle: shot that is tilted sideways on the horizontal line (also called "canted" angle); used to add tension to a static frame, it creates a sinister or distorted view of a character.

Sound

- Diegetic: sound that could be heard logically by the characters within the film; sound that can also be internal diegetic, meaning that the sound can be heard only with in the mind of one character.
- Nondiegetic: sound that could not be heard by characters; sound given directly to the audience by the director.

Lighting

- Low-key: scene is flooded with shadows and darkness; creates suspense/suspicion.
- High-key; scene is flooded with light; creates bright and open-looking scene.
- Neutral: neither bright nor dark -- even lighting throughout the shot.
- Bottom/side: direct lighting from below or from one side; often dangerous or evil-looking, may convey split personality or moral ambiguity.
- Front/rear: soft, direct lighting on face or back of subject -- may suggest innocence; create a "halo" effect.

Camera Movement

- Pan: stationary camera moves left or right.
- Tilt: stationary camera moves up or down.
- Zoom: the camera is stationary but the lens moves, making the objects appear to grow larger or smaller.
- Dolly: the camera itself is moving with the action -- on a track, on wheels, or held by hand.

Editing Techniques

- The most common is a "cut" to another image. Others are:
- Fade: scene fades to black or white; often implies that time has passed.
- Dissolve: an image fades into another; can create a connection between images.
- Crosscutting: cut to action that is happening simultaneously; also called parallel editing.
- Flashback: movement into action that has happened previously, often signified by a change in music, voice-over narration, or a dissolve; a "flash-forward" leads us ahead in time.
- Eye-line-match: a shot of a person looking, then a cut to what he or she saw, followed by a cut back for a reaction.

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Appendix B: Blank Activity Charts

Film and Literature Analysis: Prediction

(table 06.01.09.01 available in print form)

Film and Literature Analysis: Setting

(table 06.01.09.02 available in print form)

Now, choose one of the settings above and, on the back of this sheet, draw a picture of the most important aspects of the setting.

Film and Reading Strategies: Responding to the Text

(table 06.01.09.03 available in print form)

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Appendix C: Implementing District Standards

(table 06.01.09.04 available in print form)

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Bibliography

Amistad. Produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. 2 hr. 53 min., 1997, DVD

Ashbury, R. (1998). Teaching African Cinema. London: BF1:

Butler, O. (1979). Kindred. Boston: Beacon Press.

Corrigan, T. & White, P. (2004). The Film Experience: Boston. Bedford/St. Martin's

George, T. & Pearson, K. (2005). Hotel Rwanda, (Bringing the true story of an African Hero to film).New York: Newmarket Press.

Golden, J. (2001). Reading in the Dark. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English.

Morrison, T. (1997). Beloved. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Sankofa. Produced and directed by Haile Gerima. 125 minutes, 1999, Videocassette

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