Grade Level: 7-8
: Language Arts
Essential Skills and Strategies:
Viewing, Listening, Writing
The Students will compare the social system of a school to that of a city. They will view several silent movie City Symphonies and then make a storyboard to use as a guide to create their own City Symphony video. The video piece that they create will document the not only the school day with which they are familiar but all of the behind-the-scenes activities that allow the school to function from early morning until late at night.
These steps are actually a series of lessons that will take place over a period of several days. It is up to the teacher to determine how much time to spend on each step depending on the abilities of the class and time constraints.
1. Over the period of several days, the students will listen to at least two musical symphonies. Before doing so, explain to the students that a symphony usually has four parts or movements. The first movement of most symphonies is moderately fast. The second movement is the slowest, and the third has a dance-like quality. The fourth movement is a lively or triumphant conclusion. Have them listen for these movements in the symphonies.
Content Standards 4.0 Listening
Students will develop strategic listening skills by interpreting and constructing meaning from auditory cues.
Performance standard 4.1
Students will develop strategic listening skills in order to ensure success in listening tasks.
Performance Standard 4.2
Students will demonstrate effective strategies before, during and after specific listening tasks.
2. View videos of
A Bronx Morning.
Explain how these movies led to the development of the City Symphony. Then view City Symphonies such as
Berlin- Symphony of a Great City,
Man with a Movie Camera
. On video, musical scores will accompany these silent movies. Have the students note the different movements. Also, have them note how the music matches what they see. It will take at least three class sessions to complete this portion of the project.
Content Standard 5.0 Viewing Grades 5-8.
Students will develop strategic viewing skills by interpreting and constructing meaning from visual resources.
Performance Standard 5.1
Students will demonstrate strategic viewing skills that ensure success in viewing.
Performance Standard 5.2
Students will demonstrate strategic viewing behaviors before, during and after viewing tasks.
3. Discussions will take place as to what comprises a city. Then talk about how a school is like a city. Explain to the students that they are going to create a video in the style of the silent movie City Symphonies. A brainstorming session will take place and the students will compile a list of what they feel might be included in the "School Symphony." The following list compiled by my students is offered as an example of what the list might look like. The list is not in timeline order.
Getting off of the bus
Passing between classes
The TV studio
Watching the News
Awards assemblies Holiday assemblies
Home economics Cooking and sewing
Social Development Classes
After school programs
The principal preparing
The lunch ladies Preparing for the day
The breakfast ladies
Food service truck
The lunch line
Packing up for dismissal
Morning board work
Homework (passing in)
Leaving on the bus
Report card night
Nurse/ nurse's office
Books, paper, pencils, Pens, computers, Overhead projectors
Cameras, TV equipment
Common Performance Social Studies Standards for Grades 7 and 8
The following Common Performance Standards are used in conjunction with the specific content standards to complete students' study in grade seven and grade eight.
- Watch news shows and documentaries.
- Demonstrate understanding through written, verbal, visual, musical
and/or technological formats.
- Gather historical data from multiple primary and secondary sources.
- Explain causes and effects of various events.
- Write short narratives and statements presenting historical ideas.
- Research an issue of interest and be able to take and defend a position on that issue.
- Use the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing) to complete at least two written pieces. (In our case a filmed piece.)
- Formulate questions
and hypotheses from
using multiple sources
4. Students will work in small groups to plan, script, and produce a City Symphony type movie of ten to fifteen minutes. Students will create a storyboard to plan their project. Using a list similar to the one above, the students will decide what topics they want to tape. Each topic will become a scene. Using one card for each scene, they will write each scene on an index card, similar to the one below. For example, they may write
Students getting off the bus
. Then they will draw a simple illustration demonstrating the action. Later they will number each scene according to the order that the scene will take place in the video.
Title of project:
Title of Scene Scene #
Text if any: _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________
Illustration of scene
Description of action:
Content Standard 2.0 Writing
. Students will progress along a developmental continuum, as they become proficient writers.
Performance Standard 2.1
Students will develop strategic writing skills that ensure successful communication.
Performance Standard 2.2
Students will develop strategic writing behaviors before, during, and after specific writing tasks.
Performance Standard 2.3
Students will demonstrate performance standards 2.1 and 2.2 through a wide variety of writing tasks.
5. Using a large corkboard, the students will put the cards in the order that the scenes will appear in the final video. The cards will be grouped according to the first, second, and third movement of the video. The students should think of the action in these scenes as musical notes to be put together in a rhythm of a symphony.
Content Standard 2.0 Visual Arts Grades 5-8.
Principles of Visual Organization, Structures and Functions: Students will use knowledge of these principles and their visual characteristics cohesively in each work of art and demonstrate them in different forms of art.