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Desperate for activity ideas for A2

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    I know some people have a real bug bear on here against teachers asking for teaching activity ideas but I really am looking for some help. At A2 I teach my OCR students about representation of British people in film and television for the Media and Collective Identity exam unit. I have also just covered Section A evaluation questions with them. My problem is that having done a term long SOW they now have "most" of the content they need for the exam, and need to spend the rest of the term consolidating it and revising it and I am running out of interesting ideas. I have done the following with them already:
    * Got them to choose their own film / tv programme and present it to the class showing a clip and explaining what theories link to it, how it represents British people etc..
    * Do timed essays and mark each others work
    * Create information sheets / posters about each theory we have looked at
    * Create a timeline of the texts we have looked
    * Work in groups to create a short information film about social realist representations vs commercial representations
    etc...

    But I know they are getting bored and two of them have just emailed me together saying they would like our lessons to have more "activities" they can do in lesson to demonstrate their learning. I think this is because since we finished the content for Section B the lessons have become more unstructured and more about class discussion about theories / topics and writing notes etc. I know this is useful for them but I also know that they need some actual active learning to keep them engaged and I am literally coming up with blanks. For both Section A and B really. For Section A we re-watched their AS and A2 productions and re-read their blogs they did for coursework but then we've just been discussing it and I have no ideas of activities they could do to consolidate their ideas for the essay questions. I have had a look on the resources section and there's loads of power points and information sheets for students to look at but no ideas for actual activities I could adapt for my topic and I think sometimes it is so tempting with sixth form to lecture them via powerpoint rather than do the whole starter / task / plenary thing. I really want to get back to having some active learning tasks with this class and wondered if anyone had any ideas?

    Any help very much appreciated and I would of course be willing to trade resources / activities for any other topic that you might be interested in.
     
  2. Hi MediaBecky,
    See if any ideas from the following braindump are helpful and if you have any real successes, would you let me know?
    Do they have flipcards with key vocab/points/examples? Colour code these for topics. You could get them to make them in a lesson as an activity in itself. Then all sorts of starter activities - card games like:
    • matching theories
    • collecting 'families' of examples of a technique
    • random keyword card - write 4 possible definitions only one is right
    • put in chronological, alphabetical order etc and count how many got right
    Section A:
    • 1a (and 1b) Pull students' name out of a hat. Ask them which question they are most worried about getting. Everyone writes the answer for that students' work - compete for best marks and then give all their essays to that student, repeat for different student for different question ad infinitum
    • 1b Apply theories to comic/topical/totally random texts and reward/encourage them to come up with evaluative comments about the theories and identify how this would improve their level.
    Section B:
    <ol>[*]Create a lifesize image display of a quintessentially British person (each group could have a slightly different angle). Using the tools they have - theories, examples, opinions; build a collage of all the content - perhaps divide in half down the middle as social realist vs commercial. You could get them to design the layers, or require screen shots for the body shape, quotes as clothes and jewelry and props for their own interpretations.[*]You could also start a blog going and when they walk in, one student/pair is told - you will have 10 minutes at the end to post the notes from today's lesson for anyone who is absent/future reference.</ol>
    I am so impressed you have covered all the content. Do you think you could share your long term planning with me - when do you start and finished the coursework? How many students do you have? I'd love to see your term plan for the Collective Identity too. I am teaching Youth Identity in News and Film.

    Good luck,
     
  3. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Hi thanks SO much for your ideas. Hadn't thought of some of them so will definitely try them out.. We start the A2 coursework at the end of Y12 after they finish their Foundation Portfolio coursework! They spend the June / July and over Summer completing loads of research and planning tasks meaning we have more time when we get back to do the production side of it. We aim for them to be filming their music videos by the end of September giving them the whole of the rest of the term for editing, blogs, evaluations etc.. Seems to work quite well.

    I am changing schools in September and am thinking of swapping to teach representation of Youth in films / news so would be fab to swap some resources where possible. We start the A2 exam content in January. General plan is:

    January - cover older texts both commercial and social realist (Mrs Miniver, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Mary Poppins, A Taste of Honey) Discuss historical contexts and events that may have influenced these representations

    February - Discuss contemporary representations (Love Actually, OutNumbered, My Family, Shameless, Adulthood, Fish Tank). Bring in theories such as Functionalism, Marxism, Neo Marxism. Discuss audience responses to texts etc

    March - Discuss future representations bringing in Pluralism and Postmodernism, discussing how hyper real representations of British people are becoming more popular such as TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, Geordie Shore, etc.. Discuss how audiences are less interested in having to choose between a commercial and a social realist representation as they no longer feel they want these two concepts to be mutually exclusive. They want texts that combine elements of these such as Attack the Block, Shank and 4,3,2,1.

    Right at the end of the term we started looking at Section A but only for a few lessons where they did some discussion of the different topics etc.. Going to do some more coverage of Section A in the next few weeks and then do LOADS of exam practise under timed conditions as that is where they fall down sometimes. I made the mistake of setting up an anonymous questionnaire asking Y13 what they wanted out of their media lessons and quite a few said they were bored with just discussing things, that they wanted more activities. So I love the idea of getting them to write someone ELSE'S essay for Section A to give them ideas for their own work. Might liven them up to look at someone else's coursework etc..

    If I can help with any resources just drop me your email and I will send anything through that I have that you might be interested in.
     
  4. If you are thinking of doing "Representation of Youth", then have you considered advertising? HAT (History of Advertising Trust) have a really good resource on "Representing Youth Culture - Levi Strauss and television advertising", it's a resource case study that looks at how advertising of jeans reflects youth culture at different times. OK, it costs &pound;30, but for that you get a lot, context, downloadable permission cleared ads, and themes and ideas to explore with students. There's also some free stuff on the site - http://ad-mission.org

     
  5. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Im not sure I agree with your answer to be honest
    We are discussing the way Britain was mediated in the 40's with war films like Mrs Miniver - propaganda, very nationalistic, big focus on a national identity etc..
    Then we have talked about how gradually over the years the representations started to split into commercial Hollywood representations mainly of England eg Love Actually etc, and then Social Realist representations that covered regional areas eg north, scotland etc..eg Trainspotting, This is England, etc
    Then we've looked at contemporary representations and are discussing the postmodern idea that national identities no longer really exist in the media as many people no longer feel "British". Instead media texts have started to focus on regional representations as people still feel a "collective identity" based around the region they come from / don't come from. So we've looked at things like The Only way is Essex, Geordie Shore etc..
    We're also looking at the influence of globalisation on British culture and how it is eroding the rich history of social realism in films and television. So now instead of traditional social realist texts, we are getting social realist hybrids such as when they combine it with sci fi (Misfits / Attack the Block) or horror (Eden lake) in an attempt to appeal to a global audience. So their essays are actually ABOUT the loss of national identity within films and television..
    I do think you make some quite sweeping generalisations in your post though. I dont see why students can't discuss a collective group like "British people" and then use the essay to make the point that there is no longer any real collective identity among representations of british people? What's the problem with that? My school has been teaching this topic for 2 years and my students have always done well with it!

     
  6. whizzbangbang

    whizzbangbang New commenter

    Hi

    Try teacheractivities.co.uk - it has a compendium of over 200 lesson activities that can be tweaked for any lesson. Hope this helps.
     

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