Documentary Guidelines

To create your documentary, you can go choose between one of two approaches.


You can either choose to create a documentary in which you (and anyone else with whom you work) are the character(s) from the realistic fiction novel.  The characters should be interviewed and discuss main ideas, events, and themes from the novel.  The characters should speak as if they are describing their own thoughts and experiences.


A second option is to create a documentary in which you (and anyone else with whom you work) are discussing the characters in the novel, their experiences, and the themes of the novel in an analytical format.  You will analyze the effectiveness of the writing, the effectiveness of the characterization, and the author’s portrayal of themes.





Voice Over

Character/Analyst Speaking to the Topic/Theme/Thesis of your novel.

Your documentary should be a mix between images that represent the novel, information provided through the speakers in the interview and information/thoughts provided by the narrator’s voice on the documentary that guide the flow of the documentary.

The documentary should be at least five minutes per student involved.  That means that if there is one student reporting on this book, then it should be at least five minutes.  If there are three students working on the book, the documentary should be at least fifteen minutes. 

The documentary should demonstrate a thematic idea that the creator (the student) is attempting to demonstrate to the viewers.

A strong knowledge of the plot, characters, setting and theme of the realistic fiction novel should be evident.

A depth and complexity of understanding of the novel’s message and theme(s) should be demonstrated throughout the documentary.

Clarity and fluidity should be evident throughout the documentary.

Quality and thoughtfulness should be exhibited in the finished piece.

Some suggestions for creating a documentary and examples of documentaries may be found at the following websites.

RI 8.5

RI 8.5: Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.

Go to the website link below and use  Pericles’ Funeral Oration as a complex text for close reading and analysis.

Also, use sources like Newsela and to find up to date articles for close reading and analysis for RI 8.5 on a consistent basis.



RL 8.5 Compare/Contrast

RL 8.5: Compare and Contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differeing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

Use pages 1064-1069 of the Prentice Hall Literature Textbook.  Also, review pages R24-R33 to discuss different formats of texts. 

Use this website to find articles and political cartoons about the same topic.  You can use these articles to compare and contrast nonfictional pieces. 

Amazon River Article #1

Amazon (river, Peru and Brazil).The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2013. 18 Mar. 2014 <>.

Amazon River Article #2



Homework March 10 – March 14

Monday – Wednesday

Complete “Lottery” Stations (one green, one blue, one pink, and one black).  Assignment guidelines are on Edmodo

Get Realistic Fiction Novel for Documentary Project (due April 7).  Have book approved by me by Friday of this week.


Get Realistic Fiction Novel for Documentary Project (due April 7).  Have book approved by me by Friday of this week.


Complete Draft 1 (Type 3) for Cultural Research Paper

Dracula, Chapter 2 Excerpt

The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.

But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit.
The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!

Dracula Excerpt

Without a word he shook his reins, the horses turned, and we swept into the darkness of the pass. As I looked back I saw the steam from the horses of the coach by the light of the lamps,and projected against it the figures of my late companions crossing themselves. Then the driver cracked his whip and called to his horses, and off they swept on their way to Bukovina. As they sank into the darkness I felt a strange chill, and a lonely feeling come over me. But a cloak was thrown over my shoulders, and a rug across my knees, and the driver said in excellent German–”The night is chill, mein Herr, and my master the Count bade me take all care of you. There is a flask of slivovitz (the plum brandy of the country) underneath the seat, if you should require it.”

I did not take any, but it was a comfort to know it was there all the same. I felt a little strangely, and not a little frightened. I think had there been any alternative I should have taken it, instead of prosecuting that unknown night journey. The carriage went at a hard pace straight along, then we made a complete turn and went along another straight road. It seemed to me that we were simply going over and over the same ground again, and so I took note of some salient point, and found that this was so. I would have liked to have asked the driver what this all meant, but I really feared to do so, for I thought that, placed as I was, any protest would have had no effect in case there had been an intention to delay.

By-and-by, however, as I was curious to know how time was passing, I struck a match, and by its flame looked at my watch. It was within a few minutes of midnight. This gave me a sort of shock, for I suppose the general superstition about midnight was increased by my recent experiences. I waited with a sick feeling of suspense.

Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road, a long, agonized wailing, as if from fear. The sound was taken up by another dog, and then another and another, till, borne on the wind which now sighed softly through the Pass, a wild howling began, which seemed to come from all over the country, as far as the imagination could grasp it through the gloom of the night.

At the first howl the horses began to strain and rear, but the driver spoke to them soothingly, and they quieted down, but shivered and sweated as though after a runaway from sudden fright. Then, far off in the distance, from the mountains on each side of us began a louder and a sharper howling, that of wolves, which affected both the horses and myself in the same way. For I was minded to jump from the caleche and run, whilst they reared again and plunged madly, so that the driver had to use all his great strength to keep them from bolting. In a few minutes, however, my own ears got accustomed to the sound, and the horses so far became quiet that the driver was able to descend and to stand before them.