The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: New Line Cinema. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 2001.

Plot Description:
Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book of the same name, hobbit Baggins reluctantly gives the One Ring of power to his nepher Frodo, whom the wizard Gandalf instructs to leave on a journey. Gandalf is captured by a wizard under Sauron’s thrall. They gather many companions including humans, dwarves, and elves. Gandalf escapes captivity. A council of the races of Middle-Earth decide that the ring should be destroyed, only possible in the volcano of its creation. Gandalf sacrifices himself to save the party from death. A human tries to take the ring from Frodo; the hobbit decides to finish the journey on his own.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 860; Accelerated Reader: 6.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This movie is narrated in third-person, focusing on the adventures of Frodo and his companions. It teaches the importance of resisting temptation. The media is 7th grade level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine theme or central idea and analyze in detail its development; #3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain; #4 Analyze complex characters; #5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases; #5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuance in word meanings, such as interpret figures of speech.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great movie (and a great series) to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 6th grade through 12th grade. It explores themes of responsibility and adventure.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120737/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings:_The_Fellowship_of_the_Ring

Adding and Subtracting Fractions

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Khan Academy. Adding and Subtracting Fractions. 2007.

Description:
This video teaches how to add and subtract fractions using patterns, relationships, and rules. It includes four examples and basic vocabulary.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 86.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This video is presented mainly in first-person lecture format, focusing on the many ways that fractions can be combined. It teaches skills needed to pass the GED. The media is 6th grade level.

Content Area: Math-Fractions

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text; #3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text; #7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently; #9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably; #10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a good lesson to use in Math Curriculum. It is best suited to 4th grade through 8th grade. It explores basic work using fractions.

Supporting Digital Content:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ZlXsFJULI
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4a-Gbdw7vOaccHmFo40b9g

Greek Mythology

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: The Theoi Project. Greek Mythology. 2000.

Description:
This comprehensive website profiles almost every Greek deity, being, and creature from many ancient Greek and Latin classical stories, translations, and art. The site details a being’s whole biography: associations, powers, appearance, attributes, birth, life, death, family, offspring, and history.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This website is presented in third-person, focusing on the the details of Greek mythology. It teaches the meanings and history of Ancient Greek beings. The media is 10th grade level.

Content Area: Social Science-Mythology

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms; #4  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context; #5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas; #9 Synthesize information from a range of sources; #10 Read and comprehend science/technical texts in appropriate grades.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great tool to use in Social Science Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores mythology and classical literature.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.theoi.com/

¿Que Hora Es?

Media Item
Bibliographic Information: Cedric the Entertainer Presents. ¿Que Hora Es? 2002.

Plot Description:
Four characters interact in the style of Mexican telenovelas (soap operas), using only basic phrases taught in introductory Spanish classes. The phrases are used in wildly inaccurate situations. The fifth character to enter the scene actually knows how to speak Spanish, to the bafflement of the others. The first sketch is of an upset lover finding out his partner is cheating. The second sketch is of an interrupted wedding.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.1 (in Spanish)

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
These comedic clips are presented mainly in third-person, parodying the hilarity that real telenovelas can become. It teaches a few phrases in Spanish out of context. The media is 10th grade level.

Content Area: Science-Biology

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms; #4  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context; #5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas; #9 Synthesize information from a range of sources; #10 Read and comprehend science/technical texts in appropriate grades.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great sketches to use in Spanish Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 9nd grade through 12th grade. It rivets students who might otherwise think learning a language is only boring.

Supporting Digital Content:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cKGyOE_jOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZGac0jM8f0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedric_the_Entertainer_Presents

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Granada Television. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1984.

Plot Description:
The 13-episode television show follows the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. John Watson. Holmes is a detective who solves cases through the application of intimate observation and ruthless logic. The episodes are based off of various short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 39.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This television show is presented in third-person, focusing on Holmes’ adventures with Watson. It teaches the importance of observation. The media is 3rd grade level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine theme or central idea and analyze in detail its development; #3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain; #4 Analyze complex characters; #5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases; #5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuance in word meanings, such as interpret figures of speech.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great series to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores themes of intrigue and adventure.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086661/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes_%281984_TV_series%29

Secrets of the Dead: China’s Terracotta Warriors

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: PBS. Secrets of the Dead: China’s Terracotta Warriors. 2011.

Plot Description:
Archeologist and scientists examine the collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, that were found in 1974, dating back to about 2200 years ago. They determine how the clay figures were created. Engineers recreate armor and weapons found among the statues and test their effectiveness. (Spoilers: they’re very effective. It took the Western world over a thousand years to catch up.)

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 55.4

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This television episode is presented in first- and third-person, focusing on the history of China. It teaches the science behind the artifacts. The media is 10th grade level.

Content Area: Social Science-History

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms; #4  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context; #5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas; #9 Synthesize information from a range of sources; #10 Read and comprehend science/technical texts in appropriate grades.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great tool to use in Social Science Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores history and archeology.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/chinas-terracotta-warriors-watch-the-full-episode/844/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army

Froguts Virtual Dissections

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Froguts Inc. Froguts Virtual Dissections. 2001.

Plot Description:
This online biology software guides a student through the process of dissecting several different subjects, including squid, starfish, and the original frogs. The full-color virtual dissections and quizzes prepare biology students for the actual dissections in their classroom labs. It is also a valid substitute for in-person dissections in 18 states including California.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 33.8

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This tool is presented in third-person, focusing on the selected subject for dissection. It teaches biology skills and vocabulary. The media is 9th grade level.

Content Area: Science-Biology

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms; #4  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context; #5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas; #9 Synthesize information from a range of sources; #10 Read and comprehend science/technical texts in appropriate grades.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a fun tool to use in Science Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores biology and dissection.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.froguts.com/

Note: I last used Froguts about a decade ago, and the program was impressive even then. It now includes x-rays and other new tools.