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OCR AS TV Drama - Lesson ideas

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I am teaching this topic for the first time this year (having done the audience and institution topic for the last 3 years). I am happy with all the content for the unit, and have got some great clips to use and a fab glossary of terms from other users on here..
    What i'm wondering now is if anyone has any good tips on how to actually teach it to them in an interesting way as whilst i'm planning my lessons I just seem to be coming up with the same idea which is 1) show them some terminology, get them to identify parts of still images or moving images, discuss how this represents issues etc.. Some tests with them doing note taking, and a practical task where they go and film a sequence themselves that represents a social group in a particular way etc..Also had some ideas about getting students to do presentations to the class of different clips, doing almost like a live director's commentary over the top of the clip analysing it, and another idea where students find examples of characters from tv dramas that conform to and challenge stereotypes of age, gender etc..
    I guess I'm just wondering if anyone would be willing to share any other ideas about how to make this unit interesting or any examples of unusual tasks / activities they'd be willing to share as Im wary of doing too much lecture based / teacher talk with this unit?
    Any help very much appreciated
    Becky
     
  2. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I am teaching this topic for the first time this year (having done the audience and institution topic for the last 3 years). I am happy with all the content for the unit, and have got some great clips to use and a fab glossary of terms from other users on here..
    What i'm wondering now is if anyone has any good tips on how to actually teach it to them in an interesting way as whilst i'm planning my lessons I just seem to be coming up with the same idea which is 1) show them some terminology, get them to identify parts of still images or moving images, discuss how this represents issues etc.. Some tests with them doing note taking, and a practical task where they go and film a sequence themselves that represents a social group in a particular way etc..Also had some ideas about getting students to do presentations to the class of different clips, doing almost like a live director's commentary over the top of the clip analysing it, and another idea where students find examples of characters from tv dramas that conform to and challenge stereotypes of age, gender etc..
    I guess I'm just wondering if anyone would be willing to share any other ideas about how to make this unit interesting or any examples of unusual tasks / activities they'd be willing to share as Im wary of doing too much lecture based / teacher talk with this unit?
    Any help very much appreciated
    Becky
     
  3. Look at one area at a time: play clips without the visual image and analyse sound, for example? We also did posters of representation where I gave each group an area (e.g disability) and they did two columns - positive and negative representations they'd seen (e.g reliant on others for care/being wheeled around = negative rep). They loved it, because some of the negative representations were so shocking, yet frequently done. I accompanied this with news articles (google the BBC site) on representation in tv/film (quite a few organisations/charities complaining that there aren't enough positive representations of women / gay men, for example). We watched some really really obvious negative representations (the Brown Baby sketch with Waynetta Slob, and the AGA Saga woman from Catherine Tate to explore class. We then talked about how you could represent class in far more subtle ways (camera angles, less obvious props etc, and then watched some Shameless clips to explore how they did it.
     
  4. It sounds like you already have plenty of ideas!
    I start by teaching the four technical codes in both theoretical and production contexts; that is, they learn how to operate a camera, record sound, direct lighting and edit video at the same time as they are learning about the related theory. After a lesson on composition and camera movement, for example, I send them out for an hour to shoot a mini video demonstrating the rule of thirds, looking room, pans etc. They find it much easier to identify the professional techniques once they've used them for themselves.
    In teaching written analysis I now get students to employ "code-signification-representation" to construct each point (rather than P-E-E or similar.) For example, In ‘Monarch of the Glen', the low angle medium close-up on Paul, from Amy's height (CODE) signifies Paul's dominance from Amy's perspective (SIG). It reminds the audience that adults use their physical presence to dominate younger people - seen from Amy's perspective this could be read as unfair (REP).
    Later, when it comes to exploring representational topics, I have a library of clips exploring different themes, so we spend an hour reviewing a selection of these before analysing an unseen text as a class. Initially I divide the class into code-specific groups for shared feedback, but as they year goes on I move towards all students being fully independent. I like your idea of dividing clips among groups of students to prepare and might give that a try. We also have fun stereotype-bashing - anticipating negative (and positive) typing and how they might be constructed on screen.
     

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