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Black History Month/Famous Americans Lesson Idea

Engaging students in their learning and having them take ownership of the content is something I’m always looking for in the classroom. When I was a classroom teacher making movies using the French Art Form of Tableau about Famous Americans was a classroom favorite of my students. The students had to act out their own scene of an important event that happened in a Famous American’s life using these Tableaus. As you can see, the students really got into it!

In other years, I modified the Tableau lesson a little and had the students create their own “Mini-Movies”. We even took it a step further, and the students brought in props and costumes to spice up their movies!

For both projects, the students were completely on their own for creating these movies. Even though these specific projects were centered around Rosa Parks, the premise would easily work for any Famous American that they may be researching.  Here are the basic steps each student group had to follow:

1. Research The Famous American
2. Come up with an important scene from their life to act out
3. Come up with their characters
4. Come up with the scripts
5. Practice, Practice, Practice.

The best part about making these movies–THE BLOOPERS! The students loved watching this movie because it is obviously hilarious, but it also gave the students a sense that it is okay to make mistakes in their learning. We roll through the mistakes and learn from them…. and they’re hilarious. “Rosa Parks on a School Bus?????” Haha!

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