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Lesson Plans
It's a Beautiful Day in MY Neighborhood

By Amy Bowllan and Angela Guiffreda
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 1-2 hours for Introductory Activity and Learning Activity. Time allotment for Culminating Activity will vary depending on the depth of each teacher's project.


This lesson is based on the video series A Walk Through Harlem. After viewing portions of the documentary, the students will take key aspects from the video and use the techniques to create their own video-produced piece. This lesson will take students from "not just watching television, but making television" about their own neighborhood.

The students are going to be introduced briefly to the concepts of what makes a good story by watching a short segment from the PBS documentary and assessing the importance of techniques used for video production. Finally, the students will view and take an interactive map tour of Harlem.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:

  • create and produce their own “Walk Through” video about their neighborhood;
  • develop script writing and on-camera narration skills;
  • gain knowledge and expertise about the landmarks in their own neighborhoods;
  • develop skills for on-camera presentations;
  • gain research skills by using the Internet;
  • use primary sources by interviewing people in their community;
  • gain expertise in video vocabulary usage.


National Standards for History

    Standard 1 Chronological Thinking
    Standard 2 Historical Comprehension
    Standard 4 Historical Analysis and Interpretation
NCTE Standards for English Language Arts

Standard 1: Students read a wide range of print and non print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.

Standard 6: Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

National Educational Technology Standards
    Standard 1: Basic operations and concepts
    Standard 2: Social, ethical, and human issues
    Standard 3: Technology productivity tools
    Standard 4: Technology communication tools
    Standard 5: Technology research tools
Media Components

A Walk Through Harlem

Web sites:
A Walk Through Harlem
This site takes you on an interactive map tour of Harlem.


This site is unique Internet site that supports a new textbook: Media Literacy Through Television & Multimedia Production. The instructional approach is to use a combination of direct teaching, class discussions, and independent, inter-disciplinary video action projects.


This site is committed to helping teachers and students learn more about video editing and production.


Per class:

1 camcorder
1 video tape player
1 television
1 camera (still shots)
1 computer with Internet capability

Please Note
If your school has an extensive Audio/Visual lab, you can use:

1 editing bay
1 graphics machine
1 computer generated graphics program
1 computer generated editing program and scanner.