I decided last weekend that I was thoroughly bored with my traditional Explorer Baseball Card Project. Besides, now that Topps actually makes real famous explorer cards, it’s a passe project, so I decided to up the skills for the 5th graders this year.
The video I put together here is a short (less than a minute) commercial. The idea was that many of these explorers, many of whom I aware did atrocious things to the Natives they encountered, still had to be very charismatic and daring in order to set out on these months-long voyages to the farthest reaches of the globe, many of them exploring territory and land that was completely alien to them. I imagined what it might have been like if they had access to the same media that we do today, and what a “recruitment commercial” for Christopher Colombus might look like.
The movie is just a proof of concept, and it’s something I threw together in about an hour. It doesn’t begin to touch on the impact that these explorers had on the New World, something that Tom Woodward will probably berate me for not including, but this is a project for 5th graders that only see me for 45 minutes a week, so I decided to focus on the multimedia and research aspects of it. And yes, I’m aware I may very well be in breach of a few bits of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and might be skirting a bit too far out of bounds of fair use, but the song just worked so well 🙂
I opt not to berate you. 🙂
Columbus or the King and Queen of Spain would have pitched things pretty positively I think. It is an ad after all. They might have thrown in some religion and I’m not sure about the NW passage (I think that was a way around N.A. that was searched for by later explorers. I’m pretty sure Columbus didn’t look for it because he died still insisting he had landed in Asia.)
It looks like an interesting project. I wonder what PSA’s from the original inhabitants might look like?
Yeah, I totally failed that line on the Northwest Passage. I put the video together around midnight the night before I needed it, working on pure creative energy alone. I’ll go back and redo it, once I get my laptop back from Apple Tech Care (6 weeks and counting now). The Northwest Passage is what people like John Cabot and others were looking for, and you’re right, Columbus just thought he was in Asia.
I think it might be a blast to collaborate with another classroom online; one class does the commercials, one does the PSAs against the explorers, then share 🙂
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