I often have students watch a documentary to fill in their background knowledge before they read a novel or other literary work. Instead of only asking students to understand and record the information presented in a documentary, I ask them to think about the choices the director has made about how to communicate the information. This deepens their thinking and gives them an opportunity to form their own ideas about the film. Finally, the last question asks them to compare the advantages a director has in film over an author. Follow up by having students share their thinking in partners, small groups, or a whole class discussion. Using this notes sheet is a perfect way to fill in background information when teaching a new concept in any subject area and weave in the Common Core Standards below.
This activity is aligned to the following Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.7: Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.7: Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.7: Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.