A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively
engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.
Students apply their knowledge of physical acting by creating a short silent film, in the style of Charlie Chaplin.
This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.
Students will apply body language and physical acting principles to create characters.
Students will collaborate with peers to devise a story that relies on physical action, rather than spoken word.
Students will apply physical acting styles from early silent movies to create their own silent film.
Briefly explain the history of film making. Show the first film, Eadweard Muybridge's "moving pictures" of the horse from 1878. Explain to students that while directors could capture motion through pictures, technology was not available to capture the voice and action together until 1927 (The Jazz Singer).
Students will watch "The Kid," directed by Charlie Chaplin, directed in 1921. Afterward, discuss physical principles that are displayed.
Students will be put into groups to create their own short silent film, depicting a story they write together. Students will plan using the Silent Movie Planning Sheet. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1amT4oQ3zp4fTLlNwKs46fbNe3dohiDbxOl_fFG_Wpno/edit?usp=sharing
Students will create a storyboard to plan the movements and film shots. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SK5ATAIjey_ZBT_Z5ck3Ogo0yM1234w7yfBESnDi_jE/edit?usp=sharing
Students will film segments of their silent movie.
Students will edit their film using technology or apps available at the school.
On the final day, watch the films together and discuss the physical expressions and artistic choices in each film.
Students will be assessed on mastery of creating a story that relies on physical action, rather than spoken word.
Allow students to assess their film and their group member contributions using the following assessment sheet. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YqbZvVxBwyZBnr0rvgCySCpXQLZShDGGoPZH8Tjt1dM/edit?usp=sharing
Review and demonstrate Physical Principles with students.
Print copies for each group: Assignment Description, Planning Sheet, Story Board, and Assessment
Teachers may show scenes from The Kid rather than showing the entire film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUMDfIaCEu8
Students may edit their short film using a variety of software or apps available on their phones or computers. (Check with your school's technology coordinator for more specific guidelines.)
If technology is not available, students can present their silent "film" live onstage instead.