With Episodes I, II, and III viewed, students have been buzzing and really focusing on why the character Anakin Skywalker made the decisions he did and became the most feared character in the galaxy far, far away… (spoiler alert) Darth Vader!
When preparing the students for watching the movies, one of the learning objectives was to keep a running record record and “describe characters’ qualities based on what they say and do and how they are described in oral, print and other media texts. ” This was applied to Anakin Skywalker’s character development as he progressed through developmental stages of: youngling, to Padawan (teenager), to Jedi Knight/Darth Vader.
To take a creative approach to this character task, we had the students create a “pop-up” book of each stage of Anakin’s development. These sketches not only included drawings, but also had to include key words, thoughts, or actions that described Anakin’s experiences and character changes.
When we began focusing on Anakin’s character, as a large group we documented and created a list of qualities that students felt best described Anakin’s character:
With the above student responses to use a platform, students began sketching and adding their own character traits to their pop-up designs.
When a few of the early finishers completed the task, I challenged the group with the task of using the iPad and iMovie software to create a captivating movie trailer to showcase the work they and their peers created. This is what they came up with:
Similar to introducing students to George Lucas, discussion unfolded around music in movies, which led the students to learning about the musical mastermind behind the Star Wars saga: John Williams. My teaching partner began the discussion by showing a clip from one of the episodes in complete silence, and then asked the students how they felt when watching. Many responded saying that it was “boring” and that “she forgot to turn the sound on,” (cheeky students we have!). When replaying the clip again with sound, kids were pretty amazed of how a scene changed just by adding music. The blog is open and available to for students to share thoughts and opinions about music in the movies. So far, here are some of their thoughts:
With the “first” three episodes complete and Anakin’s character analyzed, it is time to take them on a galactic journey from my childhood! This time, it will be Luke Skywalker and his journey that will be analyzed and compared to his father’s path to being a Jedi.
Up next: Episode IV: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Designer Droids and Geometry!
Until the next time,
May the Force be with you