My Life as a Turkey: Video Reflection Activity

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9th - 12th
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This Cultural Anthropology assignment is a Video Reflection of the PBS “My Life as a Turkey” documentary. The anthropologist actually completes a Participant Observation of their “turkey culture” as he raises turkeys for almost two years. At one point, he goes “Native”, and eats a grasshopper. The video is approximately 60 minutes long.

This video is available on vimeo for free. The link to the video is included with the download.

Several years ago I stopped using accompanying worksheets to videos I show in class. Too many times students are more focused in answering the questions, rather than absorbing what they are watching. But, I wanted the students to be actively engaged with the video. So, I started using “Video Reflections”.

The video reflection handout has two columns on it. Student write what they have learned on the column on the left. They write down any questions they have on the column to the right. At the end of class, each student needs to tell the teacher something they learned, or a question they have.

When given a choice, most students would rather have this type of assignment, compared to a worksheet.

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