After reviewing many films it was very necessary to relate them geographically to my curriculum. I need to define geography, list the curriculum standards that I wish to cover and give a descriptive account of the films and books that will be used in and useful to this unit. There are several selections under each area to cover. You can use parts of films or the whole film in order to show the attribute of scale you want to support. I have chosen many films especially those that will cover the curriculum in subject areas that I had the need to support. This unit can cover more than one subject at a time.
Geography deals with topography, the layout or characteristics of the land, the natural resources, animals and/or people. Geography is about the "where of things." Geography is an important part of many other subjects. Geography's many subjects can include biology, sociology, weather, geology and history. Below is a view of how Geography may be broken down. This list can be used for the middle to higher grades.
Geographers today may study:
, the study of farming in different parts of the world.
, the study of plants and animals in different eographic locations and climates.
, the science of making maps.
, the study of world climates.
, the study of people and their ways of life in different parts of the world.
, the study of the measurement of land forms on the earths' surface and underwater.
, the study of how geography affected historical events.
8.Industrial and marketing geography
, the study of locations for business and factories and how particular locations can benefit or hurt them.
, the study of daily weather, including air temperature, precipitation (rainfall, snowfall, etc.), and winds.
, the study of nations and states, including their natural habitats, cities and farms, and populations.
, the study of the location of the natural resources and the conservation of those resources to meet human needs.
, the study of how cities develop and how they work.
Geography is physical science. In the movie
the location is the Great Plains in the midwest United States. The storm chasers canvassed Oklahoma's rural countryside looking for twisters. Climatology and meteorology are of course natural choices to study when you view this film. It is obvious that the storm chasers are in fact concerned with the climate as well as the weather: air temperature, humidity, and wind velocity.
Here is another assessment of geography that I will use when the students are asked to view a film:
Five Themes of Geography
- Location. Answers the question, "Where is it?" Identifies position on the earth's surface.
- Place. Answers the question, What's it like?" Investigates the physical and cultural attributes that give an area its distinctive character.
- Human/Environment Interaction. Looks into how people respond to and modify their environment.
- Movement. Focuses on the flow of ideas, goods, and physical matter among people and places, and on how things change over time.
- Regions. Defines areas by selected criteria, which can be
cultural, political, physical, economic, linguistic. Examples: Corn Belt, Capitol Hill, Silicon Valley, New England, Rockies.
Remember that geography is also related to other subjects combining the physical and human aspects of the world. The formation of mountains and the change in climate are very obvious examples of geography. Geographers use history, political science, sociology, anthropology, and economics to aid in their study.
Geography does not stand alone, but is grouped with many other ideas and concepts from a variety of subjects. In my class I have introduced the continents and the oceans by using the maps or a globe while not really impressing upon the children location . I also have used mazes, with some information about the area, yet I really don't see that sharing this information in this way was assimilated by every student. Film can help.
Film is a molten conglomeration of ideas and images with or without dialogue and set to music. Film can be non-feature films like documentaries or biographies or it can be fiction feature films. A film can cover billions of years or a few seconds of time. It can be taken from real life (live) or staged to depict history or actual life. Film can be so very vibrantly genuine or can come from the imagination either fantasized, hallucinated or inspired by true accounts. I like a film when it makes me cry, whether it be a non-feature film or feature fiction film. Past feature films that have brought tears to my eyes are
Bambi, Imitation of Life
Steel Magnolias, Message In A Bottle,
The King of Masks. '
A picture can inspire a thousand words.' Films can sometimes be an inspiration throughout your entire life. Films can affect all your learning pathways: psychological, cognitive, social, ethical, physical, and emotional. There are a wide variety of films, and libraries categorize them under non-feature films, biographical and feature films. Feature films and biographies are usually placed on the shelves alphabetically by the title. Feature films may also be animated.
Feature films are sometimes based on historical or true facts, but still considered fiction. At other times they can be taken from books or novels or written as original screenplays. These feature films have ratings. Ratings suggest which age level persons are able to view the films because of strong language, violence or sexual content. Feature films should be viewed carefully no matter what the rating, or the author's intents because some films can be offensive to their audiences. An audience is subjected to the director's purpose; a director has bias and as a teacher you need to make sure the non-feature film is a relevant account of geography. For example some films show the three pyramids in Giza near the Great Sphinx lined up diagonally when they are not in place this way. Many feature films as well as photographs of this very popular site have often been altered to possibly depict a better view, balance, or scale of the location. I have been there and because it was pointed out to me I have noticed this in films and on postcards and calendars. With technology today geography can be enhanced or even created. When choosing a feature film as an instructor you must be aware of place and location, especially if you plan to use your films for geography. Remember that films are not always shot on location, where the story takes place, for reasons of budget, safety, or convenience.
These are the films that give more credence to geography through film. Still some are hypothetical. A film like
has actual footage of the planet earth filmed in space by astronauts as their ship is orbiting 200 miles above earth. This film is the essence of geography through film. Viewers can see the Earth's surface and its large lands, continents and blue-green, oceans and seas. Biomes like the Himalayas (mountains) and the giant Namib Desert can be observed. At this vantage point you can also see climatic forces like volcanoes, hurricanes and volcanoes form, mold, and affect the planet.
Scale is created by cinematography. If you take an object filmed and shoot it at different scales it would have different significances. "Shot scale can foster intimacy with a character or conversely, it can swallow the character in its environment."
Scale for geography is the size of one thing compared to another. For example, the size of a map compared to a real area or place the map stands for.