Stories of Us: P3R Make-Your-Own-Film (USA)Classroom Program (Middle School)
This film-based resource is one of the classroom components of our Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R) bullying prevention initiative in America.
“It would be difficult to find a classroom project that better illustrates the range of skills currently termed ’21st century literacies’ and considered increasingly essential for academic and real-world achievement.”
National Council of Teachers of English (USA)
Videos and Extensive Teacher’s Guide
Designed for middle and high school students, this active learning curriculum provides step-by-step instructions for teachers and students in the Stories of Us method so they can write, and film selected scenes from, their own short films. The focus is on the inquiry process, researching the subject, and building realistic timelines to explore how bullying develops – how it begins, what happens to perpetuate the problem, the role of bystanders, the reality of students’ attempts to deal with the problem, and outcomes.
Middle School Students.
At its heart, Stories of Us is a means of investigating subjects of core concern to young people, and translating their findings into stories which are shared with others through the medium of digital film. Educators expressed a great deal of interest in this process – which led to the development of the Make-Your-Own-Film Resource.
The curriculum combines a range of 21st Century literacy skills and meets English Language Arts and Health Education standards. At the same time, the curriculum promotes social cohesion and helps reduce bullying. The project can be implemented in schools or after-school organizations by either English, Drama and/or Media Arts staff. It is also an excellent Advisory Class curriculum or interdisciplinary project – which could involve staff from English, Drama, Media Arts, Technology, Counseling and Health.
Instruction in basic filmmaking is provided, however students are encouraged to keep this aspect as simple as possible and develop stories within the limitations of their class and school – working with the students in their class, drawing upon their existing abilities, and filming in areas acceptable to their school.
The professional student film is presented as an example of what can be achieved by students with little or no previous experience with acting or filmmaking. Seen from this perspective, students watching the film are inspired and empowered by the potential to authentically communicate their own collective experience. Also included are behind-the-scenes footage of the development and production of the professional student film to illustrate the process.
Ideally this resource will be used in conjunction with the Classroom curriculum – in which case it is recommended that the Classroom Resource be implemented the semester before using the Make-Your-Own-Film Resource. The Make-Your-Own films will be developed and produced under teacher supervision, and students will be dissuaded from revealing sensitive information
A preview of the Teacher’s Guide can be downloaded here as a PDF document.
A 3 minute preview of the film is available above on this page.
The Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R) resources were produced by Readymade’s American subsidiary Stories of Us (USA) LLC, with support from the universities of California (UCSB), Illinois (UIUC) and Nebraska (UNL).