Popular media has become a common means by which students understand both the present and the past. Consequently, more teachers are using various forms of popular culture as pedagogical tools in the history classroom. Among the many materials available to teachers in the digital age are public-domain films produced throughout the twentieth century. These include studio-made newsreels, government-produced war propaganda, corporate-sponsored cartoons, and public health shorts that show teens everything from the perils of cheating to the dangers of pre-marital sex.
Teaching History with Newsreels and Public Service Shorts is a guide for teaching U.S. and world history. In addition to introducing teachers of history to the wide range of short films available for classroom use, this volume provides sample lesson plans, assessment activities, and discussion guides. This book will also help teachers make appropriate selections that convey how a particular newsreel or short reflects the period in which it was made.
Providing tips for how to use these materials to develop historical knowledge, critical thinking, and media literacy, Teaching History with Newsreels and Public Service Shorts is an invaluable asset to any teacher of history in middle- and secondary school settings, as well as at the undergraduate level.
Aaron Gulyas is associate professor of history at Mott Community College and also serves as a faculty technology consultant for the college's Center for Teaching and Learning. He is the author of Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist: Alien Contact Tales since the 1950s (2013) and The Paranormal and the Paranoid: Conspiratorial Science Fiction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).