Introduce Different Viewpoints
I begin this type of lesson with a discussion of movies and television shows. I casually lead a discussion about what television series or movies the students like or dislike. There will always be different points of view about this topic.
Select 3-4 trailers to show your students. Select trailers that students will have diverse opinions about. I often select a popular film with girls like the Twilight series, a superhero film, and a cartoon or kids movie like Smurfs. Most trailers last are less than three minutes long and can be found online by searching for the movie title and the word trailer. IMDB.com is also a good resource with tons of movies that you can view multiple trailers of. Preview all trailers carefully.
- Show students the first trailer.
- After the trailer, ask students to give a thumbs up or thumbs down if they would like to see that movie. Call on several students to share why they would go see the movie. Call on students with different views.
- Show the second trailer.
- Repeat the thumbs up, thumbs down activity with students. This time, ask students to write 3-5 sentences to describe that movie. What would they write if they were trying to quickly tell another person what the film was about? Remind them that they can only base their description on what they saw or could infer from the movie trailer.
- As students share verbally listen for opposing perspectives. Select a few and record their description on chart paper. Point out the differences in the adjectives and description used to describe the same trailer.
- Repeat the activity with additional trailers as time allows. You will find that your students will love this and beg to do it multiple times. Honestly, I let them. There is nothing better than kids excited about my introduction of a skill. What middle school student doesn’t have an opinion or like to watch movie trailers? It is one of the happiest introductions that you can have for a skill.
- When you wrap up the lesson, making sure that the chart paper descriptions are visible and point out that students have a lot of different ways to present information about a topic. “This is also true when authors write about a subject. Two authors can both write about a past president, using many of the same facts, but have very different presentations. You can notice these differences by looking at how they describe things and what type of information they choose to share or not share.”
Reading, Roz Linder, Common Core