Movie Clip Lesson Plan

This activity has been Peer Reviewed by the participants at the 2007 Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science Workshop at Carleton College.

Sandra Rutherford
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Initial Publication Date: May 2, 2007


The students are asked to develop a lesson plan about an earth science concept that they have seen in a "Hollywood" film. They must find the short movie clip, come up with a way to show the students why this is wrong either by using a demo or a lab activity. Examples of appropriate movies are Dante's Peak, Twister, The Core, and Asteroid. The students complete a lesson plan, present the activity to the class, and reflect on how they did.

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Learning Goals

This assignment mostly requires imagination and creativity. The students often find this assignment to be very difficult. They have to combine many different skills if they want to be effective at this assignment.

Context for Use

I use this activity in my methods class. I start with a PowerPoint to explain the idea. I hand them an assignment sheet. Because they need to present their ideas it is best to have a smaller class with less than 20 students. I use this with seniors at the university level.

Description and Teaching Materials

The student who wrote the sample student work said it was fine, to publish I have an email stating this. Plus I have signatures from the students saying it is okay to use their work for constructive purposes.

Lecture Powerpoint (PowerPoint 2.6MB Apr27 07)
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 127kB Apr27 07)
Lesson Plan (Microsoft Word 36kB Apr27 07)
Assessment Rubric (Microsoft Word 25kB Apr27 07)
Example Student Work (Acrobat (PDF) 41kB Apr27 07)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The students have a hard time coming up with a clip so you need to know quite a few and be able to help them with how they can counter the error in the film with an appropriate activity.


They are assessed on their lesson plan and their presentation.

References and Resources

The references are in the PowerPoint.