As part of their Social Studies work students, at Unity Charter School, have been analyzing “What it means to be American.” As part of their work students were able to choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience. Over the past two months students have been creating videos that evaluate how this right, characteristic or event is upheld in our society, or challenged by current events. Rights or characteristics could include aspects of democracy, opportunity, liberty, justice, equality, diversity, unity, individualism, other rights, guiding principles, or shared values. A requirement of their research was that students explore various viewpoints surrounding their topic, conduct interviews with people who can support or negate their arguments and use primary and secondary sources to strengthen their statements. Students were able to extend their learning by contacting public officials, or organizational leaders for varying viewpoints
The purpose of this course was to foster critical thinking skills, collaboration and creativity as students worked together or individually to create their short documentary. Through this project students have also been able to study the art of documentary filmmaking and learn about the essential elements that make a film appealing to the audience, such as shot composition, production value, lead room, focus, and B-roll footage. At the end of their investigation students have been able to gain multiple perspectives and create a final piece that expresses their own beliefs, while also examining juxtaposing viewpoints.
***Unity Charter School is a tuition-free, public school in Morris Township that offers a unique approach to education for students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade throughout New Jersey. An Open House will take place on February 21, 2019 at 9:00AM & 7:00PM.
***For more information visit www.unitycharterschool.org
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