In this culminating challenge, students explore important challenges faced by Albertans since 1905 by proposing and then creating a Heritage Minute to celebrate a selected challenge.
Explain to students that they have been selected to create a new Heritage Minute to be aired across Canada. If need be, show some samples of Heritage Minutes available for viewing at Historica's website (e.g., Soddie, Myrnam Hospital, Joseph Tyrrell). Discuss the features that make these Heritage Minutes engaging; e.g.,
- show a balanced and complete account of the event
- use media techniques to interest audience; e.g., storytelling techniques, sound effects
- are convincing.
Record and post these qualities for later reference.
Next, brainstorm the challenges faced by Albertans since 1905. Generate the criteria for the greatest challenge, such as:
- number of people affected
- amount of difficulty overcome
- positive things that resulted from overcoming the challenge.
Ask students, in groups or individually, to select one event from the list that they feel is the greatest challenge. Direct students to write a paragraph defending their choice, based on the criteria generated by the class. Consider adapting one of the charts or strategies in Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Help students create a 5– to 10–frame storyboard to pitch the new Heritage Minute to the producer and director. Remind students that effective storyboards are detailed, sequenced and use techniques appropriately. Before students complete their storyboards, explicitly teach the following documentary devices, using a sample Heritage Minute.
- Storytelling devicese.g., interview, narration, cover footage, re-enactment, historical footage
- Use of imagese.g., close up, medium shot, wide shot, pan, zoom, bird's eye view
- Use of sounde.g., human voices, music, sound effects, ambient sound, silence.
Consider adapting one of the charts and strategies in Planning a Documentary (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Ask students to present their completed storyboard to the class.
Have students act out their proposed Heritage Minute, using video, skits or other enactment strategies. Review the posted criteria for an effective Heritage Minute with the class. Arrange for the Heritage Minutes to be viewed or performed at a school assembly or local heritage fair, if possible.
Adapted from The Brazilian Rain Forest, edited by Don Northey, Jan Nicol and Roland Case. (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2002). ISBN: 0-86491-256-0.