Taking a Stand - Choosing a Documentary Subject


This lesson engages students in creating a subject and thesis for their documentary productions. Students work in a collaborative environment to determine the focus of their documentary productions. Students are introduced to counterargument and begin to pose counterarguments for their productions. This is ideally the first step in documentary production.


"Taking a Stand"

This is the second of four lessons in the project based unit "Changing the World, One Documentary at a Time" where students learn about documentary while completing their own documentary production requiring students to present an argument, research, and a call to action. In this lesson, students are challenged with creating their own documentary focus(subject) and thesis in a collaborative environment with the help of their peers.

Materials suggested for this Lesson

  • Student Handouts printed before each lesson (optional)
  • Other traditional class materials such as Chart Paper, Markers, Pens, and Highlighters

Lesson Times

Your Purpose- Graffiti Wall
10 Minutes
Graffiti Reflection
15 Minutes
Creating My Subject
30 Minutes
Creating a Thesis
50 Minutes
Taking a Stand
50 Minutes
Counter Argument
30 Minutes
Counter My Argument
30 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
K-12 Subjects
  • English-Language Arts
  • Visual Arts & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts
Grade Levels
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives


California English Common Core Standards (1)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Create a subject for their documentary project
  • Create a thesis for their subject
  • Give written and verbal feedback to others regarding their ideas
  • Create counterarguments for their thesis and anticipate approaches for these counterarguments

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