Movies for a Nickel! The Nickelodeon

Movies for a Nickel! The Nickelodeon
Florence Harding: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: Two to three class periods


Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 1
Culture
NCSS Strand 2
Time, Continuity, and Change
NCSS Strand 3
People, Places, and Environments
NCSS Strand 8
Science, Technology, and Society
NCTE Standard 1
Students read fiction, nonfiction, classic, and contemporary works to acquire information for various purposes.
NCTE Standard 7
Students conduct research by generating ideas, questions, and problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data.
NCTE Standard 8
Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.
NCTE Standard 11
Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
NCTE Standard 12
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.
ISTE Standard 3
Technology productivity tools
ISTE Standard 4
Technology communications tools
ISTE Standard 5
Technology research tools

Introduction:

In the early years of the 20th century, a new medium was developed that would provide mass entertainment, the wide spread of ideas, and a powerful set of visual images to the public--the motion picture.  During the lifetime of Florence and Warren Harding, this medium saw its beginnings in the neighborhood movie theatre--the nickelodeon.

Objectives:

Students who participate in this activity will learn about the early history of the film industry, and consider the impact of movies on society ever since.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet Access to books and other materials about film

Procedures:

1. Using the websites listed below, assign students to study various aspects of the early film industry, including (but not limited to):

  • the inventors and inventions that made movies possible
  • the early movie directors and actors
  • the topics of early films
  • the role of the nickelodeon in the daily life of the public
  • the nickelodeon as a precursor to the major movie theatres of the 1930s and 1940s
  • the changes in the movie industry that are apparent now

2.  Students assume roles as members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; given their research, it is their task to create a portfolio of early film to be placed in a time capsule and opened in the 22nd century.  A paper or PowerPoint version of the portfolio is possible.

3.  Categories for the portfolio should be determined by the students.  The portfolio can contain writing, pictures, drawings, and even--movie clips!

Extending the Lesson:

This lesson can be extended by extending the portfolio to include further history of film in the later decades of the 20th century.

Sources & Resources:

Websites:

Credits:

This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.