On any given day, thousands of people around the world go to the movies. Millions and millions of people watch television! Motion pictures and television programs are capable of stirring deep emotions in viewers--fear, sorrow, happiness, etc. In this way, the art of movie making and television production can be considered to rank with other art forms that also evoke strong emotion like literature and painting and theatre.
Movies and television programs are products of the imaginations of many individuals from screenwriters to producers to directors to actor, editors, and special effects artists.
The effect that movies and television has on popular culture is considerable, and their visual record can have a powerful influence on our minds and imaginations.
Sample some of the following activities to learn more about movies and television.
The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about motion pictures.
Go to the Academy Awards! Find out which films won the award for best picture since 1928.
Travel to Hollywood and find out how movies are made from screenwriting to directing to producing to acting to editing
Walk down Hollywood Boulevard in California and visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see the sidewalk stars of your favorite celebrities
Visit the Acadamy Awards again! This site is called "The Official Academy Awards Site". You can visit each of the previous films and best actor/actress award winners. You can view a poster of each best film winners and find out what is in and out of style
Visit Sesame Street. Is there any place more imaginative? The Children's Television Workshop site has stories, games, activities, printables, and more. Give Mr. Rogers equal time, although Daniel Striped Tiger can't hold a candle to Kermit
Visit your school or public library and pick up this book by Jake Hamilton. Discover how Steven Spielberg created the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, how Jim Carrey's eyes were made to pop out in The Mask, and how they staged the spectacular arrival of the alien spaceships in Independence Day.
Revisit your favorite TV program from your childhood. This site is dedicated to the preservation of old television shows and commercials
Travel to the Land of Oz. The book was written by L. Frank Baum over 100 years ago! The movie is a classic that has become part of the collective imagination of the U.S
PBS site examines the work and films of George Lucas
Meet Charlie Chaplin. He is considered one of the greatest comic geniuses of all times
Get to know Howdy Doody. Years before Kermit and Ernie puppets debuted, Howdy Doody, a wooden puppet, entertained young people. His friends were Buffalo Bob, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, and Dilly Dally. You can learn about the show, the characters, and the cast members
Make the acquaintance of movie and television animal stars--Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Flipper, Benji, Flicka, and others. It took 48 different pigs used to create the role of Babe in Babe the Gallant Pig. The reason for this is that pigs grow very fast and making films takes a very long time
Watch actual films from the 1940s and 1950s
Learn about Disney studios
Check out the 200 best Hollywood and American classic films
Enjoy this online resource for movies. It has reference material stretching all the way back to 1892. You can find plot summaries and cast and crew credits for zillions of movies
At this site, you can view streaming movies, music videos, short films, classic television, comedy, sports, news, and weather
Vintage TV shows! Have students discuss how Gilligan's Island and the Brady Bunch are different from today's sitcoms. This Nicelodean site has a nice section that teaches kids how to be safe on the internet
Learn about the classic age of Hollywood and see why stars such as Clark Gable and Judy Garland were so popular
- Durston, Marie. They Make Movies, Don't They? Chicago: Houghton Miffin, 1997.
- Hitzeroth, Deborah. Movies: The World on Film. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1991.
- Howe, Dylan. American Television Classics. New York: Montero Books, 1998.