This lesson plan adheres to New York State Learning Standard 1- History of the United States and New York, Elementary Level, Key Idea #1. Additionally, this lesson plan corresponds with the National Social Studies Curriculum Standards thematic strand of Production, Distribution, & Consumption.
Ask students if any of them has seen a movie lately. Allow time for students to share their observations about the movie’s theme, setting, and subject. Define each term, (theme, setting, subject), as you discuss a particular movie.
Students will be able to analyze primary sources to learn about the development of moving pictures and construct an American movie poster that promotes mass consumption.
Technology helped bolster an American culture through the use of radio and motion pictures. In turn, motion pictures contributed to mass consumption
Essential Information - Tell students that movies are a relatively new technology. Utilize the Animation Overview to inform students of the history of cinematography. For example, begin with a discussion of the flipbook, then the Zoetrope, Muybridge studies, and finally movie projectors. While you share this essential information show students images of each technology and explain how they work.
Once students have a basic knowledge of how cinematography progressed tell them how it changed American life. Specifically, people who lived all around the country saw the same clothes, the same mannerisms, and the same lifestyles when they went to the movies. Use a current movie discussed during the anticipatory set as an example of how movies promote cultural homogenization and consumption.
Either in groups or on their own, students construct a movie poster that promotes consumption. They must identify the following criteria in their poster:
Discuss something bought as a result of seeing it in a movie.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING / CLOSURE
Students present their posters to class. The class must then identify each criteria #1-5 in the poster being presented.