Assignment: The Life Of...

Create a short film about a historical person. Tell the story of their life, and explain why they are historically significant.


Suggested techniques

Reconstruct significant moments from of their life in dramatic form. You can do it in modern dress and setting if period dress and sets aren't available.

Include some modern sequences with people explaining how that person has affected them, if appropriate (for example, a modern black American talking about what it means today that Lincoln freed the slaves, or modern people talking about the way Gandhi inspired them).

You can do this using an on-screen presenter, or completely with voice-over, or even have the person narrate their own life.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate. You could do this as a studio presentation or lecture, and display the images on a screen behind the presenter, or else you can make the images go full-screen.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you're saying.

Add appropriate background music to create atmosphere, and ensure you have a striking title sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • Reconstructing events from someone's life gives the student new insights into the different people involved as well as what happened.
  • Dramatic reconstruction makes for a good group project.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.
  • Finding images and music to enhance the presentation requires detailed research.
  • Providing narration builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.


  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • History, politics, current affairs

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