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explore documentary

Recommended ages: 12-16+

Classic Faces Places Agnès Varda and JR 2017


We tell the stories that we want to remember, and with words, visuals and sounds, we document realities using interviews, archived footage, real people. Within the context of media literacy, the theme of memory is an exploration of narrative storytelling and ways of documenting personal stories, and more critically, understanding that all stories offer just a slice of the whole.

Let's Get Real  

115 min Age 12-16 16+

This lesson will explore documentary conventions and representations of realism in moving image products. This will allow students to learn the necessary visual language needed to tell a story within this form, but will also enable them to understand the selection process involved in telling a story, even if it is based on real events or people.

This lesson was developed as part of Your Story project, which was funded by the US Department of State, Alumni TIES and World Learning. The Greek edition was edited by Psaroloco Media Literacy

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluating how we deconstruct meaning in visual images

  • Understanding codes and conventions of documentaries 

  • Using knowledge to develop own documentary pitches 

  • Discussing the selection of process of documentary storytelling

Lesson Plan

Characterizing: What's imagination and what's "real"? 25'

Evaluating: How do we "read" moving images?  35'

Analyzing: What are documentary conventions? 40'

Applying : Planning and pitching a documentary video 15'

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