Student Buy-In

camMost students today are fascinated by new technology and will be excited to make their own documentary or Public Service Announcement (PSA).  So show them some footage!  Once they’re hooked, use their enthusiasm to carry them through the necessary research and storyboarding steps.  By the time they begin to actually edit, they will have assembled all the necessary materials to create a documentary with a strong opening, logical storyline, and a compelling conclusion. Note: raw footage moves slowly -we encourage you to fast-forward through the materials.

OPTIONAL:The Interpreting Video Clips Activity will help your students to view and interpret the footage actively (as editors) rather than passively (as audience). Note that the supporting documents contains a Video Sequence List – a detailed list of all the video clips available to students in this unit. This will be a valuable resource as they work through their activities and begin to edit.


“How to Make a Documentary”

camStudents watch the Take 2 video on documentary construction. This presentation walks students through the process from background research to polishing their final product. (Run Time: 8 minutes)

OPTIONAL: Deconstructing Sample PSA/Commercials gives students the opportunity to evaluate broadcast-quality products and develop an understanding of what makes a good PSA. The teacher may use web examples provided by Take 2 or find (or have students find) video samples from advocacy web sites or public service announcements on the web. This valuable exercise allows students to view openings, conclusions, use of text or voice-over additions, story building, and presentation of information in a logical sequence.



camYou may want your students to work individually or in teams.  Typically, teams of three encourage collaboration while giving each student ample opportunity to contribute to the project.  Students may form teams based on pre-existing skills (technical, organizational, and storytelling) or by choosing more traditional post-production roles such as producer (responsible for the over-all look and concept of the product as well as layout and organization), writer (for on-screen and voice-over writing), fact specialist (responsible for selection and documentation of all factual data), and editor (responsible for editing together shots, narration, music, graphics, etc.)

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