General Question

juniper's avatar

Documentaries for use in classroom activities?

Asked by juniper (1899points) May 20th, 2009

I like using clips of documentaries in my English classes. I usually use Michael Moore’s stuff to teach logical fallacy or argument. I’ve also used “Supersize Me” (although, it’s not one of my favorites) and “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices.”

Do you have any recommendations for classroom-appropriate documentaries (or clips from documentaries) that might be useful in teaching argument or that might spark academic discussion?

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8 Answers

brettvdb's avatar

Hands down the 1980 documentary series “Cosmos” by the late Carl Sagan is, in my opinion, the greatest educational series ever made. Even though it is now almost 30 years old, it only needs minor touch ups on some of its points – Carl Sagan was decades ahead of his time.

If you’ve never read anything by Carl Sagan, or seen this series, I implore you to give it a try.

This series totally changed the way that I look at the world. It is relevant to everyone.

oratio's avatar

@brettvdb downloading I love the Joseph Campbell interviews. Those are well worth a view. And Attenborough’s “Tree of life” is nice.

brettvdb's avatar

@oratio Awesome I will definitely check them out! I’m a diehard Attenborough fan – I own most of his video collections, but strangely enough I’ve never seen Tree of Life.

I will definitely check out the Joseph Campbell interviews – I’ve been told they are great but haven’t gotten around to them yet.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Depends on your age-group I would guess.

This one might be good for “logical fallacy or argument”. That one is ” In Whose Honor”.
http://www.newday.com/films/InWhoseHonor.html

Then there is “Incident at Oglala” but that is probably for an older audience.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104504/plotsummary

Here is another good cultural one. Hawaii: A voice for Sovereignty
http://www.hawaiiankingdom.info/C1126750129/E20090506064458/index.html

Oh and another: “The Color of Fear”
http://www.cheathouse.com/essay/essay_view.php?p_essay_id=66291

oratio's avatar

@brettvdb Been looking through cosmos. That was a weird and wonderful man. I feel sorry he’s dead. Very good series.

oratio's avatar

The Journey of man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells is very interesting as well.

brettvdb's avatar

@oratio great!! im glad you like it. i love Carl Sagan

kruger_d's avatar

Check out the Connections series (BBC I think)

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