To introduce my Geography classes to our key geographic concepts we have watched Step Up 4: Miami Heat (called Step Up Revolution originally) this week.
Before watching we did a concept and definition mix and match activity where the concepts and a definition were on laminated cards. Once all pairs/groups had sorted the definitions together the students wrote the concepts down in their books leaving about 3-4 lines after each one.
Whilst watching the movie students then had had to write down how each concept applied to the film. At first, I paused the movie regularly to point out how the concepts were applicable – such as in the opening scenes where it shows the Miami environment in a series of wide shots and then the linear pattern of high rises along the beachfront. Then I let the movie run and the students had to identify the concepts themselves.
After the movie the students had to write an answer to the following question:
Year 11: Describe how one geographic concept was important in this movie
Year 13: Which geographic concept was the most significant in this movie? Justify your answer.
Worried that there might not be enough geography in this movie? Here’s a brief version of my initial notes from watching the movie:
Big city, skyscrapers, palm trees
Other Miami – Crates, fishing boats, smaller, older buildings
South Beach vs Spring Gardens District
Perspectives on the flash mob – economic, criminal, fun
Perspectives on future – dance or business
Perspectives on what makes art
Perspectives of spring garden district – slum, business opportunity, home
On what the mob is about
Planning the flash mobs – where, dance moves, how get in, how get music, how escape
High rises in line along beachfront – linear
Low quality/cost housing near the ports
Hotels on the beach
Old Miami to strip of hotels
Performance art to protest art
The invisible gaining a voice
Sustainable development – working with the community
Hiphop dancing cars graf art The Mob
Thanks to Dan @RavenEllison for pointing out the potential this movie had for Geography in this post.