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Hollywood or History?

An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach African American History

Edited by:
LaGarrett J. King, University of Missouri-Columbia
Gregory D. Simmons, NBCT

A volume in the series: Hollywood or History. Editor(s): Scott L. Roberts, Central Michigan University. Charles J. Elfer, Columbus State University.

Call for Lesson Plans for an Edited Book

Teaching and learning through Hollywood, or commercial, film and television productions is anything but a new approach and has been something of a mainstay in the classroom for nearly a century. However, purposeful and effective instruction through film is not problem-free and there are many challenges that accompany classroom applications of Hollywood motion pictures. In response to the problems and possibilities associated with teaching through film, we are developing a collection of practical, classroom-ready lesson ideas that might bridge gaps between theory and practice and assist teachers endeavoring to make effective use of film in their classrooms. We believe that film can serve as a powerful tool in the social studies classroom and, where appropriately utilized, foster critical thinking and civic mindedness. The NCSS College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) framework, represents a renewed and formalized emphasis on the perennial social studies goals of deep thinking, reading and writing. We believe that as teachers endeavor to digest and implement the platform in schools and classrooms across the country, the desire for access to structured strategies that lead to more active and rigorous investigation in the social studies classroom will grow increasingly acute. Our hope is that this edited book might play a small role in the larger project of supporting practitioners, specifically K-16 teachers of African American history, by offering a collection of classroom-ready tools based on the Hollywood or History? strategy and designed to foster historical inquiry through the careful use of historically-themed motion pictures.

We are seeking practitioner-focused proposals that will describe lessons plans using the Hollywood or History? strategy that would utilize film and/or television clips to teach and investigate events, individuals, and movements in African American history. Initial proposals should consist of the following:

• A 1-2 page narrative which provides background on the film or television show to be incorporated and a general description of the lesson idea proposed. Within the narrative, please include a brief explanation of the specific clip(s) that students will view and provide tentative references for the primary and secondary sources selected for use in the lesson plan.

• Placement of the lesson idea within one of the ten historical eras outlined in the list below.

• Connection to relevant state and national standards, both literacy and content. Standards from at least three different states should be included.

NOTE: Proposal authors are strongly encouraged to review the article, sample lesson idea, and the first book in the series linked below for a clearer understanding of the Hollywood or History? strategy:

• Roberts, S.L. (2014). Effectively using social studies textbooks in historical inquiry.
Social Studies Research and Practice, 9(1), 119-128. Avail: http://www.socstrpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/MS-06541-Roberts.pdf
• Roberts, S.L., Elfer, C.J., & Fahey, B. (2014). Hollywood or history: Little Round Top. Lesson plan developed for the Ivey Center for the Cultural Approach to History, Columbus State University. Avail: https://culturalapproach.columbusstate.edu/u-s-history-lesson-plans-high/
• Roberts, S.L., & Elfer, C.J. (2018). Hollywood or history: An inquiry-based strategy for using film to teach U.S. history. Charlotte, NC: Information Age. Avail: https://www.infoagepub.com/products/Hollywood-or-History

Once a lesson plan proposal is accepted, authors will be asked to revise and formalize their lessons through a standardized template provided by the editors. Proposals should be submitted via email as a Word document by August 1, 2020. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by September 15, 2020.
Positive review/proposal acceptance of a lesson plan does not necessarily indicate acceptance of the lesson plans for the final, published text. Authors whose proposals are accepted will be expected to submit a revised and extended lesson plan by November 1, 2020. Each submission will undergo double-blind peer review. The editor and publisher reserve the right not to publish a lesson plan if it is not written to the high academic standards and expectations of the editors and publisher.

Please send all proposals and inquiries to: LaGarrett King (kinglj@missouri.edu) and/or Greg Simmons (gdsimmons@mail.missouri.edu).

Tentative Schedule for Publication

• Submission of lesson plan proposals: August 1, 2020
• Notification of accepted lesson plan proposals: September 15, 2020
• Submission of full lesson plan: November 1, 2020
• Peer reviews of lesson plans sent to author(s): February 15, 2021
• Revised/Final version of chapters received by editor: April 1, 2021
• Final book submitted to publisher: June 1, 2021
• Anticipated publication: Fall/Winter, 2021

African American History Periodization & Themes

We are looking for 6-12 lesson plan proposals addressing each the following historic periods and/or themes. While these film titles are merely suggestions, please consider other films that you believe would be a worthwhile representation of the period and/or theme.

• Chapter 1: From Africa to Slavery in America
Chapter one will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Amistad (1997), Amazing Grace (2006), and Birth of a Nation (2016).

• Chapter 2: Post-Slavery America to World War I (1865-1920)
Chapter two will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Daughters of the Dust (1991), Rosewood (1997), and Mudbound (2017).

• Chapter 3: Post-World War I to World War II (1920-1945)
Chapter three will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: A Soldier’s Story (1984), Miracle at St. Anna (2008), and The Immortal Life of Henritta Lacks (2017).

• Chapter 4: Post-World War II to the Black Freedom Movement (1945-1975)
Chapter four will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Malcolm X (1992), Night Catches Us (2010), and Hidden Figures (2016).

• Chapter 5: Post-Black Freedom Movement (1975-1995)
Chapter five will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Good Times (1974-77), Do the Right Thing (1989), and When They See Us (2019).

• Chapter 6: Black America & The New Millennium (1995-2010)
Chapter six will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Get on the Bus (1996), Bamboozled (2000), and The Boondocks (2005-14).

• Chapter 7: Black America in the Present Day (2010-Present)
Chapter seven will include a brief introduction about the time period, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: Pariah (2011), Moonlight (2016), and Insecure (2016-present).

• Chapter 8: Afrofuturism & The Future
Chapter ten will consider what the future looks like for African Americans according to Hollywood, an overview about the lessons, and two-three lesson plans (6-12) that use film/television clips and sources to teach students about this period. Examples of films that may be used for analysis could include: The Brother From Another Planet (1984), Get Out (2017), and Black Panther (2018).

In addition, we are looking for 6-12 lesson plans that would also fit the following themes in African American History:

- Women & Gender
- LGBTQ+
- Literature
- Children’s
- Music
- Sports
- Regular Life

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