Immigration imovie Documentary
1 Overview of Project
This projects connects well with the 8th grade social studies curriculum, which covers the wave of immigration through Ellis Island during the early part of the 20th century. It is an excellent interdisciplinary project whereby the social studies teacher can be responsible for the fact checking of the content of the students' writing, and the ELA teacher can work with the students on the organization, style, and grammar.
Students will be told that their ultimate task will be to create a documentary about immigration from a country they will be assigned. They will create them using imovie on macs. The work will be done with a partner, with one partner being a third person narrator who imparts factual information about immigration in general from a particular country, and the other partner will assume the role of a fictional immigrant who will recount his or her experiences coming to America. The students will write scripts, then gather images to coincide with their scripts, then finally record their voices into imovie to create the documentary.
The teacher can assign partners or have the students choose. I assign the countries rather than let the students choose because I want the students to use print sources, and there are only so many books to go around in the library's collection. I also want to have the class exposed to a wide variety of countries during presentation time.
Class will be held in the library where students will research their assiged country using the folliowing note-taking guide:
Directions: As you find information from the sources that will be useful to your project, copy the information into the box. Then, put the source number you used. BE SURE TO FILL OUT A SOURCE CARD FOR EACH SOURCE YOU TAKE INFORMATION FROM.
Challenges with Assimilation
Education/Learning the Language
Place of Residence/Housing
Other Relevant Information
3 Digital Research
In preparation for this assignment, the librarian has created a pathfinder for this project, which directs students to databases. These are available by subscription and will vary by school. The students are told that simply using a Google search to find information may result in inaccurate information, so they are limited to the databses for their research.
4 Writing the Script
Students will use the information they have gathered to write a script for their documentary.
This script will employ two different kinds of writing: narrative and informational. The directions students are given are outlined on the following sheet:
Immigration iMovie Project
Writing the Script
- Determine who will assume the role of the narrator and the role of the immigrant.
- Review your research and highlight important information that will be useful for your script.
- Your information will be presented in a logical order and in complete sentences.
- Narrator’s part will include historical facts about your country (think about the who, what, when, where, why, and how).
- Immigrant’s part will include specific experiences and opinions (think about the tone you want to portray).
- Narrator and immigrant will present their information in a relatable and logical order.
Note: The narrator and immigrant should have equal amounts of speaking time.
Upon arrival as citizens to the United States, Italian Americans, as they were now called, faced financial problems through in large to job discrimination. During the mid 1800s, The “Know Nothing Party,” which was an anti immigrant organization, de-promoted the citizenship rights of Italian Americans. Italian Americans worked, for the most part, unskilled jobs.
They called America “The Land of Opportunity.” When I arrived, there were opportunities for work, however, because of job discrimination among immigrants, the opportunities were limited to jobs involving manual labor. I spent grueling hours digging tunnels, laying railroad tracks, and constructing bridges. We were paid poorly, but I made just enough money to feed my family. We lived an inexpensive lifestyle.
5 Typing the Script
Student will use Google docs to type each section of the script simultaneously on the same document. This way, they will both be able to see the other's writing. Each student should have input in both roles of the script.
The script will be able to be shared with the teacher(s), who can correct it and give feedback before the recording takes place.
6 Gathering Images
Once students' scripts have been approved, they will begin to gather relevant and appropriate images that correspond to the text of their scripts. This will be an opportunity for students to assess the accuracy and relevancy of an abundance of resources.
Images can be saved in a shared folder on google drive.
7 Making the Movie
Students will first arrange their images into imovie according to where they fit chronologically with their scripts.
Then they will record their voices, adjusting the length of the clips as necessary.
Finally, they will add transitions, titles, and sound or music to enhance the production.
Final movie will be shared on Google drive so that they may be shown to the entire class.
An abundance of Common Core State Standards are aligned with this lesson, including writing standards for both informational and narrative writing. The language of the following rubric was written using the language of those standards:
Rubric for Immigration iMovie
Information on Factual Background: Common Core Learning Standard 8.W.2
a. Organization: narration, headings and/or graphics are used to
present information logically 1 2 3 4
b. Development: A sufficient number of relevant facts and details
is used to give a complete history of the topic 1 2 3 4
c. Transitions: Words (spoken or graphically displayed) are used to clarify
relationships among ideas and concepts 1 2 3 4
d. Precise Language: vocabulary that is specific to the topic is used to
inform about or explain the topic 1 2 3 4
e. Language: graded in 8.SL.6
f. Concluding Statement: follows from and supports the information provided 1 2 3 4
Narrative Story of Fictional Immigrant: Common Core Learning Standard 8.W.3
a. Organization: Narrator is described/Introduced ; 1 2 3 4
event sequence unfolds logically
b. Development: character describes events and reflects upon them 1 2 3 4
c. Transitions: uses words to shift from one time frame or setting to another 1 2 3 4
d. Language: graded in 8.SL.6
e. Conclusion: follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences 1 2 3 4
Research: Common Core Learning Standard 8.W.8
Gathered relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assessed the
credibility and accuracy of each source; and quoted or paraphrased the data and
conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following the MLA format for
citation for works cited page. 1 2 3 4
8.SL.4 Adequate volume and clear pronunciation 1 2 3 4
8.SL.5 Presentation: graphics and/or music strengthen claims
and add interest 1 2 3 4
8.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
demonstrates command of formal English when indicated or appropriate,
or description and sensory language is used 1 2 3 4
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Speaking & Listening
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.