What is a documentary film

Grade Level: 3-5

Lesson Aim: What is a documentary film?



Documentary, producer

Motivation: Ask students,


What is information? (Possible responses: Knowledge, ideas, facts, etc.)

What are some sources that provide information? (Possible responses: radio, television, internet, libraries, news papers, posters, nonfiction books, text books, encyclopedias, maps, etc,)

What is a documentary film?


We can get information from many different things or sources. Things that provide us information are called sources of information. One great source of information is a documentary film. Just like a nonfiction book that tells you facts, a documentary film also provides information or facts about a topic. The purpose of creating a documentary is to inform its viewers about a topic, issue, or an idea. The person who shoots the film is called a producer. In order to produce a good documentary, producers have to do a lot of research and interview experts to gather accurate facts about the topic. Often, a documentary is narrated by a single individual.

Activity: Display the selected documentary film

Before Viewing

Tell students that today they will watch a documentary film about the fall season. The title of the documentary is Through the Season with Birds: Fall

Have students make a prediction what the film is going to be about.

Display the movie.

After viewing: Have a discussion based on the following questions;

What characteristics did you notice that make it a documentary film?

How is a documentary film different from a fictional movie?

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