Lesson Plan: Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites Film Project
Guam/Pacific/World History, Social Studies, Anthropology, Chamorro Studies, Micronesian Studies, Pacific Islands Studies
University/College Freshmen and Sophomores who have successfully completed an introductory course in research and writing (e.g., UOG’s EN111).
In-class: 6.5 hours
Independent study: 4-6 weeks
- Camera with both still-image and video recording capabilities
- Other materials for recording information (i.e., notebook, pens, sound recorder, etc.)
- Access to computer with word processing and presentation software (i.e., PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.)
- Thumbdrive, external hard drive, etc.
Related background film viewing
Hasso’: I Guinahan Guahan, Guam’s Unique Sense of Place. Guampedia Foundation. 2015.
Related background reading
- Hau’ofa, Epeli. “Pasts to Remember.” Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History. Robert Borofsky, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2000. 453-71.
- Herman, R.D.K. “Inscribing Empire: Guam and the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.” Political Geography. 27(6). 2008. 630-51.
- Underwood, Robert A. “Red, Whitewash, and Blue: Painting Over the Chamorro Experience.” Pacific Daily News. July 17, 1977.
- Micronesian Areas Research Center, University of Guam
- Robert F. Kennedy Library, University of Guam
- Nieves Flores Public Library, Hagåtña, Guam
This film project compels university/college students to enhance their traditional classroom learning by physically visiting specific sites in Guam, interacting with individuals with stakes in those sites, and commenting critically on the potential of these sites to be recognized or further legitimized as historically significant or as viable cultural heritage sites.
Through this project, students will:
- Demonstrate in oral, written, and visual forms their knowledge of historical and cultural heritage sites, their background, their contemporary significance, current efforts or needs to preserve/perpetuate them, and their overall significance to understanding historical, cultural, political, and social issues and concerns prevalent in Guam.
- Develop the ability to interpret and evaluate scholarly and other sources and make meaningful and critical connections between such material and the specific sites that they visit.
- Enhance familiarity and skill base in multimedia technology.
- Expand public speaking and presentation skills.
- Prior to coming to class for this day, students must carefully read Hau’ofa’s essay “Pasts to Remember.”
- Break students into small groups of 4 to 5 individuals.
- In the small groups, have the students critically discuss the following:
- What does Hau’ofa argue about the problems of Western forms of historical practice/knowledge?
- In Hau’ofa’s opinion, how do Pacific Islanders know, practice, record, and express their pasts?
- What is Hau’ofa’s view of the role that landscape, seascape, and the elements of nature play in Pacific Islander pasts?
- What is Hau’ofa’s concept of “linear” vs. “cyclical” time?
- After each group of students have had some time to discuss the above questions, sit with the different groups individually for about 5 minutes each and jump into the discussion or help facilitate it if the group is having difficulties.
- In the last 20-30 minutes of the class session, have each group share their responses to the above questions with the larger class group. Compare similarities and differences between group responses.
- Inform students that the discussion groups they are in will be the groups they will work in to complete the project. Have them use the remaining class time to exchange contact information, work/school schedules, and take the opportunity to get to know each other.
- Have students view the film, “Hasso’,” in class.
- After students have viewed the film, have the groups they formed on the previous class day get together. Instruct the groups to share their initial reactions to the film and any questions they might have about specific content.
- Instruct students to gather their thoughts on the three questions posed in the film associated with the challenges facing the people of Guam in preserving historical/heritage sites:
- How could the people of Guam or those interested in ancient Chamorro culture be able to see these sites when they are no longer accessible? What factors lend to their inaccessibility?
- How could people be taught the importance of cultural preservation and respect, especially of heritage sites?
- How could increasing knowledge of Guam’s heritage sites protect these sites from destruction or desecration by both man-made and natural forces?
- After students have had some time to discuss the above questions, sit with each group for about 5 minutes each and jump into the discussion or help facilitate it if group is having difficulties.
- Prior to dismissing class, instruct them to prepare to share their answers from the day’s discussion with the rest of the class during the next class session.
- Assign students to read Underwood and Herman’s articles, asking them to focus on what both authors see as problematic with heritage sites and “narrative landscapes” in Guam.
- Begin class with a large group discussion in which the smaller groups each share their responses to the previous day’s viewing of Hasso’. Facilitate the larger discussion by comparing similarities and differences between group responses.
- By soliciting student comments, questions, etc., work toward making connections in the group discussion between the problematic nature identified in Underwood’s and Herman’s articles and the film.
- How do current efforts at heritage site preservation contribute to addressing the problems outlined in the articles?
- What challenges remain in Guam for the ongoing effort to preserve cultural and historical sites?
- Have students get into their assigned groups and distribute the attached handout (“Group Project Guidelines”).
- Review the Project Guidelines handout carefully with students. Answer any questions or address any concerns about the project.
Students should be given 4 to 6 weeks to complete the project after three days of classroom instruction related to the project.
At a midway point on the project timeline, they should meet as a group with the instructor to evaluate the progress of the project, address any problems, and to seek guidance, support, and advice from the instructor.
When the project is done, two (2) days of class time should be reserved for students to present their film projects to the class, where the project will be open to questions, comments, and criticism.
Download complete lesson plan here.