Do you think the script for "San Andreas" would have been better or worse if it had stuck with the facts? Why?
Movies often show things that are scientifically impossible. Do you think this matters? Why or why not?
According to the article, the movie "San Andreas" provided the ideal public service announcement (PSA) for how to react during an earthquake. Think of other movies about natural disasters you've seen. How could you incorporate a PSA into some of those movies?
There's nothing fun about experiencing a real-life natural disaster. Why do you think so many people enjoy watching movies about these events? How do you think watching highly unrealistic movies impacts people's responses when a true disaster occurs?
- Prior to conducting this activity, select a movie for the class to watch. For age-appropriate suggestions related to specific content or curriculum, explore the website Teach With Movies. If you have limited time, review the section entitled "Snippets & Shorts."
- Select an article that reviews a fictional presentation of a topic you are currently studying Review the article as a class. Analyze how the text distinguishes between facts and fiction as it examines the topic. Challenge students to find examples where the writer uses evidence to prove that various fictional statements or scenarios couldn't possibly be true.
- Point out that there are many different types of movies. Documentaries are thoroughly researched and should stick with the facts. Just about every other type of movie has a little—or a lot—of room for fantasy in the script. Often fiction is woven in with just enough facts to make the plot believable.
- Instruct students to take out two pieces of paper. Have them label one paper "Facts" and the other "Fiction." Then show the movie you selected. As students watch, instruct them to make a list of facts and fictional items they see and hear in the script.
- After watching, assign students items from each list. Challenge them to conduct research to find proof that supports each fact and evidence that explains why each example of fiction can't be true. If necessary, review how to identify and utilize reliable sources.
Review the results as a class. Challenge students to satisfactorily defend each item. Encourage them to share all supporting information, identify all sources used and explain why each source is credible.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
After watching the movie, invite students to share the items on their lists. Summarize the results to create a master list of "Facts" and "Fiction." Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one item from each list. Give groups time to conduct research. Provide assistance as needed. Then invite groups to share and defend their results with the class.
After watching the movie, invite students to share the items on their lists. Summarize the results to create a master list of "Facts" and "Fiction." Divide the class into pairs. Assign each pair one item from each list. Give partners time to conduct research. Invite them to share and defend their results with the class.
After watching the movie, invite students to share the items on their lists. Summarize the results to create a master list of "Facts" and "Fiction." Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to select three items from each list and then conduct research to gather information. Invite partners to share and defend their results with the class.
After watching the movie, divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to compare their lists and select five "Facts" and five examples of "Fiction" that both partners recorded while watching the movie. Instruct partners to conduct research to gather information. Invite them to share and defend their results with the class.