Hi! It’s Thursday, May 10, 2012 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!
History in the Movies
Age Range: 10 and up (parents should preview and supervise)
Do you supplement history studies by watching historical films like epics, biopics, period pieces, and true-life stories? Films set in the past can help students visualize a particular era or period in time – but are they historically accurate? At this website, university history professor, Cathy Schultz, Ph.D., comments on the accuracy of over 50 historical films.
This site is an archive of Ms. Schultz’s syndicated newspaper column in which she explains if history really happened the way it is depicted in films. It’s a terrific resource that can enhance the use of films to further learning.
When you get to the site you’ll see an introduction and some featured news items and headlines. Use the vertical menu “Film List” on the left side of the page to locate a film of interest. NOTE: The movies include a variety ratings from PG through R. Some of the film titles include:
- The Alamo
- The Aviator
- Cinderella Man
- DaVinci Code
- Elizabeth: the Golden Age
- Flags of our Fathers
- The King’s Speech
- Last Samurai
- The Men Who Stare at Goats
- National Treasure
- Oliver Twist
- Pride and Prejudice
- Pirates of the Caribbean 2
- Walk the Line
- We Are Marshall
Click on any film title and a new page opens to the article that exposes the truth and the fiction depicted in the movie.
Don’t miss “Resources for teaching with historical films” that is directly above the “Film List” on the menu. You’ll find links to more sites that list and discuss historical films. In fact, one of the links leads to content by Paul Halsall of the University of North Florida who provides questions to ask as you watch and review a film including:
- What seems to be accurate in the film? What sources are you using to assess accuracy?
- What liberties does the film take with the past? Why?
- What, if any, modern point is the film trying make?
By the way, ClickScholar Cie recommended “HistoryAndMovies.com” an ad-supported entertainment and reference website that provides a free directory of historical movies indexed according to “Time Periods” including:
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient Rome
- Middle Ages
- Viking Age
- British Empire/Europe
- American History
Just click on a time period and a new page opens with a menu of movie titles. Each listing includes information about the film along with a video clip or trailer. Movies on this list are rated from G to R.
Again, this is a helpful resource for finding movies to supplement history studies. Parents, as always, should preview the site and supervise Internet access.