Understanding the news is always a matter of perspective

proyr1dDuring this year’s cross-curricular projects, year 1 students studied how English-speaking media around the world view Swedish culture.  

In groups of five, year 1 students were assigned the task to produce a documentary film. The film was produced for an English speaking audience and the aim of the film was to describe and analyse a Swedish cultural or social phenomenon. Students were challenged to collect evidence by critically researching information as well as conducting a local field study interviewing experts and members of the public.

The recommended structure of work looked like this:

  • First identify a Swedish social/ cultural phenomenon – something unique to Sweden (e.g. Snus).
  • Next, research what has been said about this topic in the English speaking world (newspaper article/social media etc) and account for your findings.
  • Discuss your topic with your tutors. What are the key causes/ concepts that can form the basis of your investigation?
  • Vox-pops/ interviews with the public (filmed) – what associations do you/they have around this topic? Make a source critical reflection about these interviews.
  • Interview with an expert (filmed) and further research. Reflect on the relevance and trustworthiness of your sources.
  • Define your key concepts and analyze their significance for your chosen topic.
  • Conclusion/ summary.
  • Present your process and findings in a film.


The project was a cross-curricular learning project between English and Social Science.

The project addressed the following course criteria:

ENGLISH: Core content should include oral and written production and interaction of various kinds, also in more formal settings, where students instruct, narrate, summarise, explain, comment, assess, give reasons for their opinions, discuss and argue

Key knowledge requirements for English 5 include:

  • The ability to express oneself and communicate in English in speech and writing.
  • The ability to use different language strategies in different contexts.
  • The ability to adapt language to different purposes, recipients and situations.

SOCIAL SCIENCE: Core content should include understanding the role of the media in society. This task will involve learning more about the role of the media in shaping our understanding of the world around us.

Key knowledge requirements for the Social Science course include:

  • Searching for information from different sources
  • Critically reflecting on the trustworthiness and relevance of that information.
  • Analysing social phenomena by identifying and discussing causes, consequences and applying key concepts.

DSC_2499The more general aims of this project were to encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge via creative methods.

We kicked off this project by welcoming two guest speakers Karl Ritter of Associated Press who spoke about reporting on Swedish news to an international audience and Tara Sonnorp, editor of The Local, a news resource that reports on Swedish news in English. DSC_2506In addition, year two student Edwin von Krusentjerna presented a film that his group produced during the last project period on the subject of “Snus”.

Additional support came when students from the school newspaper VRGDT spoke about interview techniques in order to help students prepare for interviewing experts. And, when our Art teacher, Morten, made a presentation aimed at helping students produce a good quality film.  Throughout the process, student teams were coached by their teachers.

The results were then presented in a group film session where one group’s film was shown and then another group asked questions and gave critical feedback.

Here are a few examples of the films:

Following the presentations, students were asked to reflect on their learning process and evaluate the project as a whole.  The reflections were written in qualitative narratives.  And, the projects were evaluated through quantitative ratings.

The results showed:

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Great job – Year 1!

 

About kristylundstrom

I currently work as Head at Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium in Djursholm. I am a student of learning. I am interested to see where it happens, when it happens, and how it happens. I am also a math and computer science teacher. I have lived in Belgium and in the USA. I really appreciate my multi-cultural environment - I believe it adds dynamics to our school.
This entry was posted in active learning, English, project, social science, vrg info and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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