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Journeys in Film: New Curriculum on China and Democracy

Joanne Ashe
Joanne Ashe is Founder and Executive Director of Journeys in Film.

Journeys in Film is proud to announce the launch of its newest film-driven curriculum guide, based on the Chinese film Please Vote for Me. The film celebrates teachers and offers lessons in democracy. This curriculum guide was developed with the support of a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Download the FREE Lesson Plans.

Set in China, Please Vote for Me was made as part of the "Why Democracy?" film project. Ten films exploring democracy were made by award-winning filmmakers and in 2007 the films were broadcast in over 180 countries.

Director Weijun Chen documented a different approach to democracy -- an experiment tried in a third grade classroom at Evergreen Elementary School in Wuhan, a city in central China roughly the size of London.

In the classroom, a class monitor is charged with seeing that other children in the class are well-behaved and on task. Having selected three candidates who are running against each other hoping to become class monitor, the teacher, Mrs. Zhang, allowed the students to run election campaigns to simulate a democratic election.

The Journeys in Film curriculum utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to expound upon the film's message. Detailed lessons, already prepared for teachers, cover topics such as Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Visual Arts. From Chinese number rods to geography, the curriculum offers lessons for pre-viewing, viewing and post-viewing.

Journeys in Film knows that teachers everywhere work extremely hard to provide interesting, detailed lessons for students and supports these efforts by consistently offering curriculum that meets the highest national standards.

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