Resources for Ferris Bueller's Day Off
WHAT IS GEOGRAPHY?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!
There are numerous definitions of geography, but geography is not just the memorization of place names on a map. There are definitions of the field of geography in every social studies or geography textbook, and students often try to grasp at a definition such as: "geography is the study of . . . landscapes, mountains, maps, climates, rivers, and people.” However, while a definition of the field certainly includes “maps and mountains and regions and people”, it is essential for students to understand geography's unique way of understanding the world; they must discover their own unique method of defining the essence of geography, and learn to apply the tools of analysis that characterize the study of human geography in an entertaining and stimulating manner.
In the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris and his friends will skip school, and in the process lead students through a travelogue of the city of Chicago. Discussions, map exercises, and a final report and debate will allow Ferris--and the instructor--to showcase the definition of human geography and demonstrate the five major themes of geography in preparation for the AP Exam.
II. Instructional Objectives:
|Assign relative and absolute location.|
|Determine the significant characteristics of "place" .|
|Describe a region in terms of culture, physical features, trade, industry.|
|List reasons why movement and trade are key events in the study of geography.|
|Understand that human actions modify the physical environment be able to explain significant human-environment interactions.|
|Use mental maps to organize information about people, places and environments in a spatial context.|
|Analyze the spatial organization of people, places and environments on the Earth's surface.|
|Describe the physical and human characteristics of places.|
|Gain an awareness of the characteristics, distribution, and movement of human populations on Earth's surface.|
|Recognize the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface|
|Engage themselves in the process of
defending a position|
III. Materials and Equipment:
Handouts: Five Themes, Maps of Chicago, Video
Video: "Ferris Buller’s Day Off" (Paramount) 1986.
IV. Instructional Procedures:
(Time Required: Five Class Periods; 45 minutes each)
Part One: Defining Geography
1. Lesson Initiating Activity - Give the instructor concepts which might be included in the study of geography. On the board, map these using visual concept mapping.
2. Core Activity #1 - Define the science based on what these concepts have in common. Some definitions include:
|a social science that focuses on the spatial distribution of human and physical phenomena;|
|the study of the physical world, its inhabitants, the interaction between the two, and the patterns and systems involved;|
|the world and all that is in it;|
|the study of pattern and processes associated with the earth;|
|the study of relationships between humans and their environment by emphasizing a spatial and environmental perspective at a variety of scales;|
|a spatial discipline---it is a perspective that seeks to understand patterns on Earth and the processes that created them;|
|the study of humans interacting with their environment including the physical environment, the built environment and socially constructed spaces; and|
|a spatial perspective of all human and physical phenomena.|
3. One can
readily see that the word “spatial” appears in these definitions or is
implied in all of them. Geography is concerned with where and why things are
located as they are. It is concerned with the patterns of phenomena and the
processes that created them. Therefore there is no special or specific subject
matter which it studies, but rather its subject matter is Earth, described and
explained using the spatial perspective. History is somewhat similar because its
subject matter is Earth in the historical perspective.
4. The 1986 Guidelines for Geographic Education and the "Five Themes of Geography."
- Relative Location
- Absolute Location
- Humans adapt to the environment
- Humans modify the environment
- Humans depend on the environment
- Perceptual (vernacular)
- Human Characteristics
- Physical Characteristics
Part Two: Chicago vs. Ferris
The students will:
- Read and analyze maps of Chicago
- Watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Create a paper with a map of Ferris' route
5. Lesson Initiating Activity - Instruct pairs of students to refer to Google Maps, or any reputable mapping site throughout the movie. In the film, Ferris and his friends will spend the day in and around Chicago. It is the students' job to track where and when Ferris is during the course of the day with the expectation that they will be able to conclusively prove whether or not Ferris could have done all the things he does in the film in real life.
6. Core Activity #2 - Watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Students will have five minutes to discuss the previous day’s segment at the beginning of each class period. They should be following Ferris’ adventures on their map. Students will have to go online to discover the absolute location of some of the places depicted in the scenes of the movie. Keep in mind that there are several different maps with different scales and intended users.
7. Closure Activity
- After acquainting themselves
with the movie, noting pertinent facts and evidence from the film, and
highlighting their maps of Chicago, students should be able to complete their
arguments as the viability of Ferris’ day trip. Students must be prepared to
present their evidence, and identify thematic relationships to the themes of
geography (example: Where is Ferris’ home and school? How do they know that? Why
are suburbs built? Why would Chicago have a German day? Where did these
immigrants come from and why?), and they must be able to back up their arguments
with evidence from the film.
V. Assessment and Evaluation:
1. Class Participation
- The quality of student participation in class discussion and concept
achievement will be assessed.
2. Paper - The paper's grade will be based on the students' effort and ability to recognize, analyze, and use the tools of geographic analysis on the film. Each partnership/triad must submit a type-written paper of no more than five pages dealing with two critical issues:
whether or not Ferris could have completed his trip in the allotted time.
Give a complete timeline of the days' events, and highlight three events/reasons
why Ferris could/could not complete his excursion in one day. All
opinions must be completely backed up with facts and figures. Graphs,
charts, and other illustrations may be included to augment your arguments.
b. Explain the five key geographical concepts of location, place, interaction, movement, and region using actual examples from the film. Use ONE example for each concept, and be complete in the breadth of your explanation. Be sure to use the "geographic jargon".
3. Map - A map depicting the travels of Ferris will bolster the presentation's validity and reliability. The map must highlight the route Ferris and his friends throughout his day off. The map must be attached to the final paper. (Note: you may use more than one map; you could use multiple scales to show the greater Chicago area as well as downtown Chicago, for instance)
4. Additional Elements - The font of the paper should be Times New Roman (size 12), with 1.5 spacing, and no more than 1" margins. Each paper must include a cover page with a title and at least one graphic, a works cited page, and a section outlining the amount of work each member of the partnership/triad contributed to final product.
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THE FIVE THEMES OF
THE FIVE THEMES OF
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