Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The New World

This movie recently premiered and it looks really good. Once and a while something of value sneaks through the Hollywood cracks and hopefully enough money can made from such ventures in historical revisionism so that more can me made. The web site for the movie has a lot of valuable stuff. There's a great poster you can download that was made in conjunction with Scholastic. I'll try to push it for the 4th graders studying colonial times, but it will be competing with test prep madness. I can't figure out why the rocket scientists in the department don't leverage stuff like this and the excellent, "Into the West" from this past summer. A guided viewing of such films sure beats the crapload out of useless, boring curriculum guides replete with matrices, rubrics, charts and standards. Here's an example of such. Sarcasm aside, there are obviously smart people working on them, but don't they realize that the average teacher can't get their hands on the materials suggested in sufficient quantities to make an attempt at these units. After all, leveling doesn't permit classroom sets of any books. You have to depend on kids reading different books and then coming together to teach other by sharing. Not bad in theory, but where you have a body of data and information that can be overwhelming to a kid, like in science and social studies, don't you need a teacher to impart some of that? Here's a slide show showing the timeline of events. Here's another showing scenes featuring Native Americans I used the soundtrack from the web site as music.

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