Open to all Middle and High School Classes
Division I – 6th – 8th grade
Division II – 9th – 12th grade
Due: April 15, 2013
Table of Contents
- The Challenge
- Range of Activities
- Essential Questions
- Student Outcomes
- Evaluation Rubric
- Curricular Goals
Brown v. Board of Education … Miranda v. Arizona … Bush v. Gore … District of Columbia v. Heller: these and many other earth–shattering Supreme Court decisions have contributed to the shape of the nation today. Each case is also rife with vengeance, egotism, deep intelligence, hysteria, unpredictability and much, much more. In short, the elements of a really good story!
Pick a 20th or 21st century seminal Supreme Court Case – teacher must pre-approve the choice – and create a one-two minute movie trailer advertising a movie that is based on your select case, focusing on the conflicting positions taken, the characters involved and the drama that ensued.
While there is no specific movie trailer formula that must be followed, there are a couple of considerations to help guide your story formatting.
- If you have access to Apple’s imovie, there is an imovie trailer template. While a team cannot use this template, you can study it as a model for how to design your movie trailer.
- Look at movie trailers for some of your favorite movies. Many are online at the movie’s website. As a team study them and take notes. How do the trailers set up the story? How much information do they give away and how much do they withhold? How do they end? Movie trailer are, among other things, exercises in pacing: what changes in pace do you notice from the trailer’s start to finish?
- Look at movie trailers for a selection of movies that you haven’t seen. Which ones leave you really wanting to see the movie? How did they accomplish that? In the end, pick the ones that you like the best; identify what you liked best about them and begin to create your own movie trailer template.
- Listen to this 6 minute NPR story from January, 2012, “The Art of the Modern Movie Trailer” http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2012/01/15/145227280/the-art-of-the-modern-movie-trailer
Keep this in mind: the single objective of a movie trailer is to convince the viewer to pay money for the movie ticket. That is your goal as well.
- Movie Trailer (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
- Narrative Outline Paper, as determined by your teacher
- Historical research of select Supreme Court case
- Organization of research into clear sequence of events
- Historical character and scene creation
- Script writing
- Video – Pre-production, Production, Post-production
- Costumes, Set, Directing, Acting, Memorization, Video Editing, Audio Editing
During Phase I student teams will:
- Select a seminal Supreme Court Case. The teacher may place whatever restrictions he/she needs, in order to focus the students on a certain kind of case or from a certain time period.
- Research the case…but this isn’t just any research assignment. There are, to start, two levels of thinking on which your team needs to embark.
- Level 1: Research and clearly outline the basic facts of the case, including the inciting incident; the process that the conflict went through to get to the Supreme Court (highlights only); the ramifications of the case’s two outcomes for the country; the decision itself; the ramifications for the country after the case closed. This is your basic story outline.
- The research for this level must include at least two secondary sources.
- Level 2: Pick two or three key characters in the case, and research their stories. These characters do not have to be the biggest historical players in the case, so poke around a little. Fundamentally, you need to identify the beliefs or principles that brought these characters to defend their side of the case so passionately. And, if possible, how, in their own personal histories, they came to align themselves with these beliefs or principles. At the end of this, you have the main characters for your storyline.
- The research for this level must include at least one primary source.
- Level 3: Brainstorm how you might want to tell this story: from the point of view of one side or the other, one character or another, or, more or less objectively?
- Optional (teachers decide whether or not to include this): Narrative Outline – Combine the two levels above in a two page paper or detailed flow chart that succinctly outlines the key story elements and characters from start to finish of the case in question. Draft would be due for teacher comments, as desired, at the end of this Phase. In addition, all resources must be properly cited at the end of the Narrative Outline.
|Meridian Stories provides two forms of support for the student teams.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include:
|Media Innovators and Artists||Meridian Tips|
|On Script Writing – Kent Pierce
On Non-Fiction – Margaret Heffernan
On Acting – Janet McTeer
On the Importance of Character in Storytelling – Scott Nash
On Editing – Tom Pierce
During Phase II student teams will:
- Conduct Creative research – This assignment does not ask your team to create a move trailer about a Supreme Court case. It asks you to create a move trailer ‘based on’ a Supreme Court case. This gives you some creative license. This step asks your team to begin to imagine a few key scenes that you would need to include in your movie to tell your story. Identify those scenes and begin to brainstorm about what you think might have gone on in the room — bedroom, living room, office, court room, kitchen, taxi cab, bus, diner, screened in porch — of your main characters at key moments in your story.
- Decide on a movie trailer format, as based on the research process outlined above. Create a move trailer rundown that outlines the action and time for each scene.
- The final movie trailer must reveal a substantive understanding of the Supreme Court case. (Please look at the Evaluation rubric for content expectations.)
- Select your key scenes and write the script.
- Finalize the entire move trailer rundown.
- Begin pre-production, which includes location scouting, casting, rehearsing and preparing the logistics of the shoot day.
During Phase III, student teams will:
- Shoot the scenes.
- Create digital graphics as needed.
- Edit the video
- Post-produce the video, adding graphics, music and sound effects as desired.
- Finalize Narrative Outline paper (as necessary)
- What are some of the most important Supreme Court cases?
- What are the specific human and societal dynamics at play in the evolution and resolution of a single Supreme Court Case?
- Why are some Supreme Court Cases so formative in the evolution of the US?
- How has information gathered from primary sources enhanced your understanding of the topic? How is the information from these sources different from the information gathered from secondary sources?
- How does one properly cite source material?
- How does one research, select and organize content from a variety of sources in order to present a compelling, cohesive and historically accurate narrative?
- By converting an iconic historical event into a narrative that humanizes the event, how has your understanding changed or deepened?
- How has immersion in the production of digital media deepened the overall educational experience?
- How has working on a team changed the learning experience?
- The student will be familiar with a range of seminal Supreme Court cases.
- The student will have a substantive understanding of how individuals and societal politics shape the evolution and resolution of a select Supreme Court Case, and why these cases can re-direct the destiny of the US.
- The student will understand how combining primary and secondary sources can help one to reach a more complex and nuanced understanding of history.
- The student will practice proper citation of source material.
- The student will understand the processes involved in researching content from a variety of sources; selecting relevant information from those sources; and organizing this information in a way that yields narrative cohesion and historical accuracy.
- The student will gain a new understanding of a key historical event by approaching it through the elements of narrative.
- The student will know the basic constructs of using video media to effectively communicate character and a story.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
|CONTENT COMMAND – Clear understanding of the event in question and its historical ramifications|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Clarity of Content||The historical content is not presented clearly||The historical content is evident, but inconsistently or weakly presented||The historical content is presented clearly and compellingly|
|Resonance of Content||The larger historical ramifications of the scene are not clearly communicated||The larger historical ramifications of the scene are implied, but not fully communicated||The larger historical ramifications of the scene are clearly communicated|
|Historical Figures||The historical figures, and their roles in this event are not presented clearly||The historical figures, and their roles in this event are evident, but inconsistently or weakly presented||The historical figures and their roles in this event are presented clearly and compellingly|
|STORYTELLING COMMAND – Effective use of story, character and dialogue to create a compelling movie trailer|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Story||The narrative is hard to follow and not enticing||The narrative is presented clearly, but the interpretation and organization of events is inconsistently engaging and enticing||The narrative is clear, engaging and enticing|
|Character||The characters are not easily distinguishable from each other||The characters service the trailer effectively||The characters are engaging, entertaining and thoughtfully executed|
|MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of the media to communicate narrative|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Editing||The piece feels patched together and the overall editing detracts from the narrative||The piece works, but there are occasional editing distractions||The piece is edited cleanly and effectively, resulting in an|
|Acting and Cinematography||The acting and story visualization don’t fully engage the viewer||The acting and story visualization intermittently engage the viewer||The acting and story visualization engage and entertain the viewer|
|Movie-Trailer Genre||The marriage of pacing and graphics to key story elements feels incongruent||The marriage of pacing and graphics to key story elements generally works||The marriage of pacing and graphics to key story elements is dynamic and effective|
|Music||The selective use of music detracts from the drama inherent in the trailer||The selective use of music works inconsistently to enhance the overall experience||The selective use of music enhances the drama inherent in the trailer|
|21ST CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only) – Effective use of collaborative thinking, creativity and innovation, and initiative and self-direction to create and produce the final project.|
|Collaborative Thinking||The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally||The group worked together effectively and had no major issues||The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member|
|Creativity and Innovation||The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative||The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their realistic evaluation and implementation of those ideas||The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively|
|Initiative and Self-Direction||The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively||The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems||The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project|
The Supreme Court Movie Trailer Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by two nationally recognized sources:
- The new Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts; and
- The Themes of Social Studies, as outlined by National Council of Social Studies (NCSS).
Below please find the standards that are addressed, either in whole or in part.
Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts Standards
Text Types and Purposes
|Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.||Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.||Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.|
Text Types and Purposes
|Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.|
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration
|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.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one- on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.|
Knowledge of Language
|Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
|Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.||Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.|
Key Ideas and Details
|Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.|
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
|Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.||Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.||Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.|
Goals – NCSS – The Themes of Social Studies
|Theme – Time, Continuity and Change|
|Through the study of the past and its legacy, learners examine the institutions, values, and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world. This theme appears in courses in history, as well as in other social studies courses for which knowledge of the past is important.|
|Theme – Individuals, Groups and Institutions|
|Institutions such as families and civic, educational, governmental, and religious organizations exert a major influence on people’s lives. This theme allows students to understand how institutions are formed, maintained, and changed, and to examine their influence. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, and history.|
|Theme – Power, Authority, and Governance|
|One essential component of education for citizenship is an understanding of the historical development and contemporary forms of power, authority, and governance. Through this theme, learners become familiar with the purposes and functions of government, the scope and limits of authority, and the differences between democratic and non-democratic political systems. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with government, history, civics, law, politics, and other social sciences.|
|Theme – Civic Ideals and Practices|
|An understanding of civic ideals and practices is critical to full participation in society and is an essential component of education for citizenship. This theme enables students to learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizens of a democracy, and to appreciate the importance of active citizenship. In schools, the theme typically appears in units or courses dealing with civics, history, political science, cultural anthropology, and fields such as global studies, law-related education, and the humanities.|