Education Blog

Show Don't Tell

By Karolina Manko, Education Assistant 07.22.14

Day 2 of the Summer Teachers Institute looked much like a movie set, with teachers making media all over the JBFC campus. Master storyteller Bill Gordh began his Seeing Stories Everywhere session for grade Pre- K- 2 educators this morning with a quick screening of the group’s “Pass-Along-Project.” Crafting an original folktale about a turtle, each participant contributed one sentence to create a collaborative story. This project is great for teaching young storytellers about building effective story-structure. It also teaches children valuable listening skills. Teachers discussed how seemingly simple projects like this one are just the kind of engagement for kids.

Educators in From Viewing to Doing: Reel Change with Aaron Mace, spent the day learning about how paired images create emotional connotations and can be powerful persuasive tools. They created and screened videos of their own, discussed the ethics of persuasion, and shared thoughts on how best to teach students to balance fact and fiction in their own work. Teachers considered the pros and cons of media projects, and shared tips and tools for time management strategies when incorporating digital work into their curriculum.

Grade 7-12 educators in Theresa Dawson’s Fact, Fiction, and the Space Between: The Art of the Real, considered the role of cinema in influencing culture. The teachers watched clips from films such as The Act of Killing that challenge traditional notes of reality. Discussing the relationship between memory and film, educators considered the possibilities and limitations of unbiased storytelling. Seeing students as consumers of media helps teachers understand the necessity of getting students to become creators as well.

Sean Weiner’s Reading the Screen students paired images together to gain a deeper understanding of how sequence creates a story. Understanding juxtaposition and congruence is key to communicating visually. The group also compared Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner with Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. While both the film and the novel tell the same story (the film was based on the book), they build worlds in very different ways. The teachers wrapped up with a discussion on the importance of intention and subtext in visual texts.