The Common Core curriculum is increasingly asking students to be able to place the texts they read into their contexts. Making a point to bring in the background and contemporary artists of the time along with the major works we cover provides an exciting chance for enrichment for the students and ourselves.
This video/presentation combines the note-taking elements of Powerpoint with the free Microsoft video editing software Photo Story. It explores the series of paintings "Course of Empire" by the American Romanticist Thomas Cole, and fits perfectly into a unit about the Romantic period of literature and the arts.
The information slides are timed to allow students time to take notes and you to expand on the information on the slides. If more time is needed, you can always pause. Before going through the paintings themselves, students are given a variety of focus questions for them to apply to the paintings. The paintings go by multiple times to allow students time to formulate perspectives on the works.
All that is needed is a projector.