Education Blog

"It's Like Learning a Language"

By Karolina Manko, Communications Manager 07.23.15

All week long educators have been discussing, viewing, making, and rethinking media. Each of the strands in our Summer Teachers Institute have been designed to be immersive but to also leave room for interpretation. So what does that interpretation look like in a classroom setting? How does understanding media as a curricular tool apply to lesson planning or homework assignments? The answers lie within the JBFC's Image, Sound, and Story curriculum- a project-based curriculum for grades 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10, in which each project is based on one of ten literacy concepts. Additionally, each of the literacy concepts are encountered across the ELA content area and are aligned with the Common Core.

This year, as part of Summer Teachers Institute, we've been running a week-long professional development program for eight educators who have wholeheartedly committed to applying our curriculum in their classrooms beginning in SeptemberThese dedicated and curious teachers who have chosen to pilot Image, Sound, and Story have spent the past four days taking an in-depth look at all of the projects, pieces of media, View Now Do Now activities, and assessment documents that will guide them through as they teach their students how to be learners who are literate and fluent in visual storytelling. 

The week has been a mix of viewing, discussion, creation, analysis, and revision. Guided by Image, Sound, and Story the educators have been hard at work unpacking a year-long curriculum in five days and strategizing ways to implement each project. "It's like learning a new language." said Marc Roennau, an educator from Roosevelt High School. The best way to learn a new language is to first understand the rules that govern it. JBFC program and curriculum developers, Sean Weiner and Aaron Mace have spent the week sampling thoughtful pieces of media that take the language of the visual and make it accessible. "San Quentin's Giants" for example is a great video that exemplifies how setting influences an audience's understanding of a character. While "Trick Meter" is a great video for starting a conversation about what mood is and how it is generated and sustained in visual texts. 

Although the week wraps tomorrow, the Image, Sound, and Story educators are just gaining momentum. They'll be returning back to the Media Arts Lab throughout the school-year for continued professional development and collaborative feedback. Since all of the Image, Sound, and Story resources are available online through the JBFC's education platform, including lesson plans, streaming media, handouts, and assessment rubrics, we'll have the opportunity to continue to support this great group as they go on to teach the next generation of media-makers.