About the Film FoundationStory of Movies - Educational StandardsStory of Movies CurriculumStory of Movies Teacher's LoungeStory of Movies Film Lesson Library


Chapter 1: What is a Movie?

Lesson 1. Technology and Story
Activity A: An Introduction to Moving Images
Activity B: Writing to Be Read v. Writing to Be Seen
Activity C: Visual and Sound Symbolism
Activity D: Cigar Box Memories
Lesson 2. A Film’s Narrative Structure
Activity A: Voice-over Narration
Activity B: Act 1 — Expository Scenes
Activity C: Act 2 — Rising Action
Activity D: Act 3 — Conflict Resolution
Lesson 3. Our Film Heritage
Activity A: Writing a Critique — Film as Art
Activity B: Understanding Film Preservation — Why Film Deteriorates
Activity C: How to Nominate a Film to the National Registry
Take 2 Extension Activities: The Story of Movies Web site
Commentary from the Filmmakers: Opening Credits
Dramatize, Don’t Explain
Lesson Quizzes 1, 2, 3


Chapter 2: The Filmmaking Process

Lesson 1. The Director’s Vision
Activity A: Three Stages of Production
Activity B: A Film’s Visual Design
Lesson 2. Getting Ready — Pre-Production
Activity A: The Screenwriter’s Role
Activity B: The Production Designer’s Role
Activity C: From Script to Storyboards
Lesson 3. On the Set — Production
Activity A: The Cinematographer’s Role
Activity B: The Actor’s Performance
Lesson 4. In the Studio — Post-Production
Activity A: The Film Editor’s Role
Activity B: What Stays, What Goes, and Why
Activity C: The Music Composer’s Role
Take 2 Extension Activities: The Story of Movies Web site
Commentary from the Filmmakers: The Trouble with To Kill a Mockingbird
Build a Model Set, c. 1930s
Create a Wardrobe Script!
Scoring Still Photographs
Lesson Quizzes 1, 2, 3, 4


Chapter 3: Film Language and Elements of Style

Lesson 1. Understanding Composition
Activity A: The Frame
Activity B: Camera Distances and Angles
Lesson 2. Capturing Light and Movement on the Screen
Activity A: Properties of Light
Activity B: Creating Contrast, Depth, and Texture
Activity C: Camera Mounts and Movement
Lesson 3. Editing To Kill a Mockingbird
Activity A: Making a Scene
Activity B: Understanding Continuity
Activity C: How Music Communicates
Activity D: Sound Effects
Lesson 4. Putting It All Together — Analyzing a Scene
Activity A: Cinematic Points of View
Activity B: Explicit and Implicit Information
Activity C: Mise-en-Scène
Take 2 Extension Activities: The Story of Movies Web site
Who Was Watson?
Testing Light Sources and Positions
Lesson Quizzes 1, 2, 3, 4


Chapter 4: Historical and Cultural Contexts

Lesson 1. The Link Between History and Culture
Activity A: Thinking Chronologically
Activity B: 1960s Censorship
Activity C: Interpretations and Values — The Movie Trailer and Movie Review
Lesson 2. Civil Rights Issues, 1930s and 1960s
Activity A: Jim Crow Laws
Activity B: Racial Violence, 1930s
Lesson 3. Analyzing Film Depictions
Activity A: Representations of Race in the Film
Activity B: Do Films Influence Society?
Lesson 4. Writing About History Using Moving Images
Activity A: Words from Birmingham
Activity B: The Documentary — Reverend King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Activity C: Interpreting a Documentary Video
Take 2 Extension Activities: The Story of Movies Web site
The Controversy over Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Diane McWhorter Remembers Scout
Hold a Class Debate on Film Depictions
Lesson Quizzes 1, 2, 3

To Kill a Mockingbird Lesson Grid

To Kill a Mockingbird Teachers Guide