FWBCurriculum

Month 1: Storytelling Techniques

FWBCurriculumST

Throughout the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the storytelling process.  Students analyze various types of stories, examine their defining characteristics, and engage in a wide range of storytelling activities. Special attention is paid to the similarities between oral history and the written word as students write and perform their own interpretations of classic and contemporary tales.
Keywords: story types, structures, oral history, written word
During the second week of instruction, students learn how to examine the media landscape with a critical eye.  Students view a dynamic collection of short films, clips, and related media and learn how to discuss the meanings behind them. Particular attention is paid to creating a safe space for expressing personal opinions and modeling constructive feedback.
Keywords: critique, discuss, safe space, constructive feedback
Throughout the third week of instruction, students gain valuable media literacy skills as they explore the differences between various types of media, their creators’ motivations, and the media’s component parts.  TV commercials, political ads, movie trailers, and music videos all take different approaches to storytelling. Students will learn how to deconstruct these approaches while examining their defining characteristics.
Keywords: media literacy, deconstruct, motivations
During the fourth week of instruction, students learn the differences between documentary filmmaking and narrative filmmaking and examine the relationships between fiction and non-fiction approaches to storytelling.  Through various in-class screenings, students will compare and contrast these two prominent storytelling techniques, establishing the foundation for future hands-on filmmaking projects.
Keywords: documentary, narrative, fiction, non-fiction
M1ExampleLessonPlan 

Month 2: Stop Motion Animation

STOPMOTION

Throughout the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the animation process. By unpacking the history of animation, students explore how cultural contexts have shaped various animation styles and how moving image technologies have evolved over time. Additionally, students engage in hands-on activities that bring the hand-drawn animation process to life.
Keywords: animation, history, styles, techniques
During the second week of instruction, students learn how to apply sequencing and stop motion techniques in dynamic and engaging ways.  Students explore how imagery and motion are transferred from paper to the screen and even work in small groups to write and produce their own short animation projects.
Keywords: sequence, stop motion, analog-digital
Throughout the third week of instruction, students gain valuable creative problem solving skills as they explore the ways in which inanimate objects and images are given personality on screen. Students experiment with applying action and emotion to their stories while continuing to hone their hands on sequencing skills. Additionally, students explore the relationship of text and moving images and how they share the screen.
Keywords: emotion, action, text-images-moving images
During the fourth week of instruction, students produce a large scale animation project that combines all of the technical and creative skills they’ve learned to date. Students write, design, produce, act, and photograph an expanded stop motion project aimed at facilitating communication, presentation skills, feedback implementation, and teamwork.
Keywords: student projects, feedback, presentation, teamwork
M2ExampleLessonPlan

Month 3: Creative Writing

FWBCurriculumCW

During the first week of instruction, students examine the processes involved in story creation and presentation as they create film treatments and analyze their component parts. Through various writing activities and oral presentations, students learn how best to translate visual imagery to text and various methods for pitching their stories to others.
Keywords: storytelling process, film treatments, idea realization, pitching ideas
During the second week of instruction, students deconstruct the script-writing process and analyze various approaches to screenwriting. From structure to character development, students engage in story development activities designed to produce the most effective versions of the stories they want to tell.
Keywords: script, screenwriting, story development, characters, settings
During the third week of instruction, students apply the knowledge they learned in Week 2 to produce a complex and dynamic script of their own. By fleshing out character descriptions, settings, and various scenes, students create the blueprint upon which their short films will be based.
Keywords: script, screenwriting project, story blueprint
During the last week of instruction, students participate in an international exchange with students in the United States. Using such video-conferencing tools as Skype and Google Hangout, students work with US-based classrooms to create collaborative short film projects over the course of the academic year. This week, students pitch their film treatments and scripts to students in the US.
Keywords: international, cultural exchange, Skype, co-create films
M3ExampleLessonPlan

Month 4: Photography & Storyboarding

FWBCurriculumPS

During the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the photography process. Students learn about basic camera operation, shot composition, and framing, and then use these skills in order develop strategies for sequencing images in meaningful ways.
Keywords: photography, camera operation, composition, framing
During the second week of instruction, students design and execute a robust photography project.  Students pair their text-based writing with their own photos/images in order to develop a topic-based photo essay.  Overall, students experiment with the combinatorial processes involved in mixing media.
Keywords: photography, student project, photo essay, mixed media
During the third week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the storyboarding and pre-production process. Students learn how to plan and prototype their moving image sequences on paper before using a camera.  Students create comics and reverse engineer film clips to deconstruct the various components of a simple sequence.
Keywords: pre-production, storyboarding, prototype 
During the fourth week of instruction, students develop their own Storyboard Projects. Students work to provide depth, context and meaning to each and every element they include in their pre-visualization processes.  From indicating camera movement within a shot to framing techniques, students put their ideas down on paper.
Keywords: student project, pre-visualization, camera movement, framing 
M4ExampleLessonPlan
 

Month 5: Shooting & Framing

FWBCurriculumSF

During the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the production process. Students learn basic shot composition, framing, camera movement, blocking and related visual language.  From interview-based activities to sequencing actions/events, students participate in a series of hands-on skills-building exercises.
Keywords: production, composition, framing, movement, visual language 
During the second week of instruction, students examine basic story structure and analyze the ways in which character development, plot progression, themes, and other pillars of storytelling are constructed within a single scene. Key activities include the re-creation of iconic sequences from film history as well as activities wherein students extend dramatic, comedic, and/or suspenseful scenes and add their own twist to the story.
Keywords: story structure, character development, plot, themes, re-creation
During the third week of instruction, students build on the skills presented in Week 1 and truly focus on learning motivations, rationales, and impact of various types of camera movement. Students experiment with various types of blocking and learn how emotion is conveyed through visual language. 
Keywords: story, motivations, rationale, camera movement  
During the fourth week of instruction, students utilize the skills presented in Week 1 – Week 3 to develop their own short film projects. Students work in small groups/clusters and apply many of the theoretical/abstract concepts previously discussed to create their own self contained film project.  These projects are designed to leverage the various story-construction and hands-on filmmaking skills that the students have gained from the beginning of the program to date.
Keywords: student project, film project,  
M5ExampleLessonPlan

Month 6: Audio & Sound Design

FWBCurriculumASD

During the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the sound design process.  From background ambient noise to sound effects, students explore the ways in which soundscapes are utilized to tell compelling stories and how the use of audio serves to create emotional connections.
Keywords: audio/sound design, noise, sound effects, soundscapes 
During the second week of instruction, students participate in a range of hands-on sound creation activities and examine the relationship between authenticity and sound production.  Additionally, students learn the ways audio can emphasize, accentuate, and direct viewers’ attention and how the mixing of sounds can result in exciting new additions to images and visual sequences.
Keywords: sound design, foley, attention, mixing 
During the third week of instruction, students expand on the skills previously learned in Week 1 and Week 2. Students flesh out the various components of dynamic sound design and construct various strategies of implementation across various types of media.
Keywords: sound design, foley, attention, mixing
During the fourth week of instruction, students examine the power of music and its emotional impact when combined with effective soundscapes and compelling imagery. Students engage in various activities wherein they analyze the ways in which different tempos, instrument configuration, and sound qualities affect the mood/tone of a given sequence.
Keywords: sound design, music, emotion, soundscapes, tempo, mood/tone 

M6ExampleLessonPlan

Month 7: Editing & Post Production

FWBCurriculumeEPP

During the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the post-production process. Ranging from media management and workflow to basic sequence design, students explore how various aspects of the editing process offer unique opportunities for creative storytelling.
Keywords: post-production, editing, media management, workflow 
During the second week of instruction, students examine what core elements make up a strong sequence. Students work with various types of footage (interviews, b-roll, inserts, action) and experience how various shot length and ordering can dramatically change the take-away/plot points of a given sequence.
Keywords: sequence, types of footage, shot length, plot points  
During the third week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the documentary film editing process. Students focus on interview-based editing strategies and deconstruct documentary, journalistic, archival, reality, and user-generated approaches to non-fiction storytelling.
Keywords: documentary, interviews, non-fiction storytelling 
During the fourth week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the narrative (fiction) film editing process. Students focus on character development and plot progression strategies and deconstruct short form and long form approaches to fiction-based storytelling.
Keywords: narrative, character development, plot, fiction-based storytelling 

M7ExampleLessonPlan

Month 8: Community Screenings & Film Festival

FWBCurriculumSFF

During the first week of instruction, students are provided an overview of the film festival phenomena. In preparation for their own in-country screenings, students examine the history of the film festival circuit, analyze the various motivations present at various large/small international film festivals, and identify meaningful strategies for audience engagement.
Keywords: film festival history, showcase, engagement 
During the second week of instruction, students deconstruct the marketing and advertising campaigns of other successful cultural events within their community. Students then promote their own upcoming community screenings via culturally-specific networks.
Keywords: marketing/advertising, cultural events, community screenings, network 
During the third week of instruction, students develop their public speaking skills and learn how to think critically about the totality of the filmmaking process. Activities range from rehearsing responses for Q&A sessions to pitching follow up films to potentially interested parties.
Keywords: public speaking, critical thinking, pitch 
During the fourth week of instruction, students produce a large scale screening of their own films for their own community. Having organized the series of screenings, students now apply their efforts to provide a dynamic, exciting, and engaging festival-going experience with their friends, family, and neighbors. Students create a platform from which to share their work and to tell their own stories.
Keywords: student project, film festival, community screening 

How is the FWB Curriculum implemented?

FWB provides all FWB Fellows with a robust curriculum and detailed lesson plans to be taught on a daily basis (MT/W/Th/F). Each month, FWB classrooms focus on developing a particular filmmaking/storytelling skill and iterating on the ideas and concepts from the preceding months. Every lesson plan includes detailed learning goals, hands-on activities, reflection/discussion questions, homework assignments, and more. All FWB Fellows are responsible for adhering to the American Anthropological Association‘s code of ethics when engaging with FWB students and their respective communities. 

What do the students create?

In addition to the wide range of skills-building activities included in the lesson plans, FWB students also complete 15+ classroom projects over the course of the academic year. Projects range from short documentary/narrative films to stop motion animation, PSAs, interactive projects, and more. In the final month of the Fellowship, students produce an in-country film festival to showcase these 15+ projects to their local community.

How does FWB develop its curriculum?

All FWB Curriculum and lesson plans have been developed in consultation with certified NYC DOE teachers. Additionally, all curriculum is directly aligned with the the US Common Core Curriculum Standards, the NYC DOE’s Blueprint for the Moving Image art education standards, and the International Society for Technology Education curriculum standards.

How does FWB ensure its curriculum is culturally sustainable?

At FWB, we do not believe that one size fits all and therefore strive to develop dynamic, engaging, and culturally-specific activities and lesson plans that truly incorporate the interests and issues facing the communities and cultures with which we work. Additionally, Fellows are expected to be responsive to the specific needs of their students and to continually identify unique teaching techniques, project ideas, and media resources that help each and every student engage in media literacy and media production in a way that resonates with their students’ lived experience.