New teaching resource unpacks Sir David Attenborough’s incredible witness statement

a-life-on-our-planet-teacher-pack-blog

Teacher Pack – A Life on Our Planet

This teaching unit for A Life on Our Planet – David Attenborough (Netflix 2020 – directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey) comes complete with assessment task options to suit inquiry learning, project-based learning, and subject-specific approaches.

‘This film is my witness statement and my vision of the future.’

The documentary, A Life on Our Planet, offers viewers an incredible insight into the life’s work of Sir David Attenborough, as he recounts his experiences and observations of the deterioration of the natural world over his 93 years on this planet.  His reflections about the state of the world are powerfully communicated and his vision for the future is compelling.

This comprehensive Teacher Pack – A Life on Our Planet equips educators with all that’s needed to deliver high-quality learning experiences which unpack the key messages of this important documentary film.

Contents (4 digital/editable/printable files ready for immediate download and use):

  1. Teacher Guide (16 page .pdf) – unit overview, inquiry questions,  suggested lesson outline, teacher answer guide, assessment tasks/extension activities information (including Focus Assessment Task – Film Festival Group Project), additional resources/links
  1. Student Booklet (14 page – .pdf/.doc formats) – pre-viewing, viewing and post-viewing activities, focus assessment task – Film Festival Group Project (including planner), other assessment tasks/extension activities (including Earthshot Prize task), additional resources
  1. Teaching PowerPoint (20 slide .pptx) – what is a documentary?, pre-viewing, viewing and post-viewing resources (including links), assessment options

Unit duration: 12+ lessons (including Film Festival Group Project)

Curriculum Links:

The Teacher Pack can be linked to the following areas within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • English
  • Media Studies
  • Science
  • Geography

A Life on Our Planet (accompanied by this Teacher Pack) is ideal for use in schools where inquiry is a priority, particularly for middle school students.  The focus assessment task, the Film Festival Group Project, has been designed as a collaborative task.

In addition, the Teacher Pack relates directly to the following General Capabilities within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Literacy

Taking Minimalism into the classroom – a complete teaching unit on The Minimalists’ documentary

Teacher Pack – Minimalism

Could your life be more meaningful with less?

The 2016 documentary, Minimalism: a documentary about the important things (directed by Matt D’Avella and featuring The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), offers a thought-provoking answer to this question through an exploration of how individuals are finding ways to live a more fulfilled life with only what matters most.

D’Avella follows Fields Millburn and Nicodemus on their 10-month tour of the United States as they promote their book, Everything That Remains.  Along the way, viewers meet others who have adopted a minimalist approach in their lives, as well as hearing from a range of experts about how minimalism could just be the answer to many of our life’s challenges.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to have created this comprehensive Teacher Pack – MinimalismThis teaching unit equips educators with all that’s needed to deliver high-quality learning experiences which unpack the key messages of this powerful documentary film with secondary school students.

Pack contents (in digital format, ready for immediate download and use):

  • Teacher Guide – 22 pages
  • Student Booklet – 19 pages
  • Teaching PowerPoint – 23 slides

Why I created this resource

To be completely honest, this resource reflects everything I’ve set out to achieve with White Space Words.

Since I first watched Minimalism around a year ago, it’s had a real impact, both personally and in my profession as an educator.  It’s such a powerful film with so many thought-provoking messages.  I’ve taken a number of steps to simplify my life (thanks also to The Minimalists’ podcast) and, in my teaching, I’ve definitely been more reflective and deliberate (see my blog on Slow Teaching for more).

In addition, in founding White Space Words earlier this year, a deliberately minimal approach has formed the basis of all I’ve set out to achieve.  From the website’s design itself to every product available on site, my goal has been to create simple, beautiful and meaningful resources for education and inspiration, using the mantra, ‘say just enough’.

It’s a pleasure to have combined my belief in the benefits of a more minimal approach to living in the conception of an educational resource which reflects this philosophy – all the while focused on complementing an excellent documentary on that very subject.  It’s an important film with which all secondary school students should engage and my goal is that this teaching unit will make that a reality.

 

New resource teaches school students to understand what’s really going on ‘behind their screens’

Teacher Pack – The Social Dilemma

“Everything you are doing online is being tracked, watched, every single action you take is monitored thoroughly.”

There are some films which everyone should see. In particular, there are some films which every school student should see. The Social Dilemma is one of those films.

Teacher Pack – The Social Dilemma equips teachers with all that’s needed to unpack the key messages of this powerful film with classes.

This comprehensive resource pack has been designed to enable teachers to deliver high-quality and impactful learning experiences for students, as they engage with this hugely important documentary film (released by Netflix in early September 2020), which explores the dangerous human impacts of social networking and how our attention is gained, maintained and used by these platforms.

What’s included:
The pack includes three digital resources ready for immediate download and use with students:
• Teacher Guide (14 pages) – unit plan, answer guide to student booklet, inquiry questions, assignment/extension activities
• Student Booklet (10 pages) – pre-, during, post-viewing activities
• Teaching PowerPoint (21 slides) – what is a documentary, individual/group activities related to the documentary, going beyond the documentary (external links)
Recommended for use with students 13+ years (Years 7-12)

What teachers are saying:
“Every secondary school student needs to see this film and having this teaching package means I have everything I need to provide my students with an excellent range of learning experiences, with such real-world application. Better yet, aside from downloading the files, all of the preparation is done. What a win!” Donna, Senior Secondary Teacher

Why I created this resource:
I viewed The Social Dilemma shortly after its release and its messages resonated very strongly with me. It’s such a powerful film with numerous thought-provoking and important takeaways, including hope for the future. Since then, I’ve spent many hours thinking about the film and talking with others about it, which led me to create this Teacher Pack for use in schools with students. My hope is that teaching the film becomes part of school curriculum across Australia to help students understand what’s really going on ‘behind their screens’.

See more about the Teacher Pack – The Social Dilemma here.