Students watch films all the time. But do they think about how a good story is told through film? To get your students to think about how filmmakers tell stories through film, they will watch one Centropa film several times, each time analyzing a different aspect of its construction: story, structure and film techniques. Centropa films are perfect for this activity – they are engaging, short and use creative methods to tell stories through narrative, images and sound.
Teachers use this activity for any project where students are asked to create a story on film or another visual presentation (Prezi, PowerPoint), including the Virtual Walking Tour project (students research the Jewish community in their town and create an online tour using Google Maps that others can take). The goal of this activity is to help students see how a story told in film is told through narrative, visuals and audio. Students watch a short Centropa personal story film three times, each time focusing on one aspect of the film-making.
It is a Austro-Hungarian tradition for schools to take group photographs of graduating classes, and post them in shops around town and throughout the school for everyone to take pride in. If your school have tableaux or a yearbook of a class that graduated a few generations earlier, you may have a great project at hand. In this project, your students will choose one tableau to research by finding the people in the class, contacting and interviewing them, and making a film based on what they found. The focus of the questions is up to you.
This project will introduce you to editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, while letting you explore a social/historical issue. This issue affected many Jews in the 20th Century and is currently unfolding in Europe today as people from areas of conflict in the Middle East are fleeing and migrating into Europe. You will focus on the three areas of video production: preproduction, production and postproduction, and will form a narrative that has a beginning, middle and end.
This final exam project culminates a semester of study and storytelling about Jewish life in Central Europe and the Holocaust that started with students presenting their own stories in picture collages, viewing Centropa films, and now creating films about Holocaust survivors. Using Centropa’s database, students choose one Centropa interviewee to research, reading the entire interview, viewing all of their photographs, reading Study Guide articles for historical context and other background.
This is a history project but because we want our students ultimately to teach each other, we started with an introductory video conference during which students asked each other questions and learned a little about one another. Students will then choose a biography from the Centropa website to read and study, as an example of what life was like for someone in a Central or Eastern European country during WWII.
In this cross-cultural project with students in North Carolina and Slovakia, our students are paired with a penfriend based on shared interests. The NC students wrote letters, but penfriends will get to know each other through electronic correspondence, as well. So each class can get to know something about our towns, we exchanged videos made by others about our cities – we sent the introduction to Greensboro sent by a local college.
Students make a 3-5 minute film that tells the story of a family member. We start the project by showing Centropa films as models for short films that tell a compelling story through narrative, visual and audio elements. Students interview family members, learn to craft a compelling story about their family, write the narration, collect the photographs and visual images, choose appropriate music and edit everything using film-making software. We conclude the project by having a film festival where we invite parents and each student film is shown. Through this project
This is a project that combines a variety of skills and tools with modern technology to create films similar to those produced by Centropa.
Students produce digital stories, using narratives they create or real life narratives of relatives or friends. They will produce the various parts of the film as they go, adding their own narrations at the end.
Find the lesson plan here: Digital Story Telling