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DAFT News: Free Film-Education Units for Teachers via Scorcese’s Film Foundation

Modules 1-3 Now Fully Online

In October of 2018 a group of Michigan teachers had the incredible opportunity to preview three modules of an ambitious 10 module curriculum that uses movies to teach concepts in American history and culture. DAFT coordinated this workshop series in partnership with the DIA.

Called Portraits of America ā€“ Democracy on Film, this curriculum is being developed by the Film Foundation in partnership with the Directors Guild of America and the guiding vision of directors like Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. Overview and underlying rationale is here:

DAFT was set to preview two new modules in May but those plans are on hold due to the current coronavirus crisis. However, the Film Foundation worked to get all the instructional materials for the first three units available to teachers online this month.

Portraits of America at the DIA - October 2018

The curriculum is rich and fully articulated with strategies and standards and terrific support including power points and selected film clips. Teachers of social studies, history, economics, media production and language arts will find much that they can use to enrich their courses.

Free Access to Course Materials

Find all of the first three modules which cover Immigrant Experience, Civil Rights, and the American Laborer here. You can access the material at this link; it does require users to create a free log-in account.

DAFT is exploring the possibility of getting some SCECH credit for teachers who study the curriculum and provide feedback on how they could use the materials in their courses next fall.

For more information, contact us at

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