You Betta’ Recognize! (or Looking At Pocahontas Through New Eyes!)


Since my 5th graders are studying Pocohantas, John Rolfe, & the colonists, I wanted them to watch Pocohantas before Spring Break. However, I could not get my hands on it. I tried frantically to find anyone with a VHS tape or DVD of Pocahontas, to no avail. Many told me they had it, but no one was able to produce it. So, I ordered it through Netflix. I didn’t order the Disney one though. The one I ordered was still animated, but in the interest of class time, I ordered one that was only 45 minutes long. The students were super excited about watching it. I told them there was a catch, they had to watch it with “new” eyes AND they had to take notes. This was basically the same speech I gave them when we watched Bugs Bunny.

In the beginning, in order to familiarize them with the note taking process, I paused the DVD to ask if what they were watching was important. Of course they knew it was important, since I stopped them. They wrote it down while we discussed why it was important. As we progressed, I gave them less & less time to take notes. I told them they needed to be able to recognize what was important and take notes without stopping the film. Initially there was bellyaching & moaning until they got the hang of it.

I had to stop the DVD right before lunch time. But, before they left for lunch, I had them read their lists just to make sure they understood. So far, so good. Once they return from lunch, we will continue the movie. I will then have the 5th grade students write a summary, read it to the class and vote on the one they think best to go on the Social Studies board. I will let you know how it goes.

Bye for now!

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