The Shift: Making Mongol Movies

The first Westtown School World History Film Festival has come and gone. Two weeks before Thanksgiving my students were channeling Ken Burns — and serving as witting accomplices in my continuing shift toward student ownership of learning. This year I decided to continue the individualized learning approach I used last year in our unit on the Mongols, but I chose the communication medium beforehand: documentary film. Greedily, I wanted a broader audience for my students’ work, and I wanted an excuse to learn to make this sort of film. Here’s what we learned!