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5 3 5 hollywood special effects (social studies) TG

5.3.5

Hollywood
Special Effects

GRAPHIC SOURCES
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

SUMMARY

From the early days of movies in
the late 19th century, special effects—trick
photography, makeup, sound effects,
animation, and split screen illusions—have
captivated film buffs. Many movies today rely
on the computerized effects from wizards like
George Lucas of Star Wars fame.

LESSON VOCABULARY

blue screen

continuous motion
optical illusion
technology

cinema
matte painting
sensors

INTRODUCE THE BOOK
INTRODUCE THE TITLE AND AUTHOR

Discuss with
students the title and the author of Hollywood
Special Effects. Ask students what kind of
special effect they believe is shown in the
cover photo. Ask how they can tell.

BUILD BACKGROUND Ask students to discuss
films they’ve seen that have used
computerized special effects. Ask students
to describe the special effects they’ve seen
and what they liked about them. Reference
the Star Wars films, which students will learn
about in the text. They may also discuss
Pixar Studios’ films, such as Toy Story or
Finding Nemo.

Share some examples of animation
on the computer or from library books. Ask
students to share the names and describe the
personalities of animated characters with which
they’re familiar.
PREVIEW/USE TEXT FEATURES

Have students
preview the text by looking at the table of
contents, photos, captions, and subheads.
Remind students that text features can help
organize their reading. Ask students what they
think the book will be about.


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READ THE BOOK
SET PURPOSE

Have students set a purpose
for reading Hollywood Special Effects. Some
students may be interested in the early history
of movies and special effects. Others may be
curious how various types of modern special
effects are created. Some may wish to learn
about the special effects of George Lucas.

STRATEGY SUPPORT: PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

The
photograph on page 14 is a useful graphic
source. It helps students see that a computer
animator creates a model clay dog and then
creates a computer model from it. Encourage
students to use their own prior knowledge
to imagine and discuss other ways in which
animators work with clay models. Use the
same photo-study technique with other photos
in the text, asking students to share their
prior knowledge. For instance, students who
have seen the 1998 remake of The Parent
Trap may enjoy sharing their memories and
discussing the importance of graphic sources.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
PAGES 6–7

What was special about the first
cinema? (Large audiences could watch movies
together; it showed a film of an oncoming train.)

PAGE 9 What was the impact of talkies?
(Actors could act in a more natural manner,
since moviegoers could hear them talking
and singing.)
PAGE 11

How does the graphic source on
page 11 help depict special effects makeup?
(It shows what Frankenstein looked like.)

PAGE 14

How has animation creation changed
in sixty-five years? (It is often completely
computerized, so filmmakers do not need to
make tens of thousands of individual frames
by hand.)

Hollywood Special Effects

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REVISIT THE BOOK
READER RESPONSE

1. Possible responses: diagram, scale drawing,
or photo with captions to describe it
2. Responses will vary.
3. Optic means “of or about the eye or sight.”
So optical illusion relates to something
you see.
4. Responses will vary.
EXTEND UNDERSTANDING

Focus students
on pages 6–11 of the book, which feature
photographs of an antique kinetoscope and
three old movie posters. Ask: How do these
images help you to understand the text?
Would you have understood the text without
them?

RESPONSE OPTIONS

SPEAKING/ACTING Have students work in
groups to write and act out a 2–3-minute
silent movie. Remind students to use
exaggerated motions to make sure classmates
understand the story line. Have each group
present its silent scene. Then discuss: Now
that you’ve practiced silent acting, what are
the benefits and drawbacks of talkies?
WORD WORK

Have students work with partners
to draw pictures and write definitions for each
of the vocabulary words. (Some of them, like
blue screen, include two words paired for a
new meaning.) Ask partners to show two or
three of their drawings and definitions. Invite
students to think of other examples of short
phrases or idioms—simple words that, when
grouped together, take on new meanings.
Examples might include: pie-in-the-sky; Web
site; pot of gold.

SOCIAL STUDIES
CONNECTION
Have students use the
Internet or library books
to research The Jazz Singer,
Frankenstein, Singin’ in the Rain, or
any of the other movies or special effects
techniques discussed in the book. Have
students prepare short reports, using at least
two graphic sources each, to present to the
class.

Skill Work
TEACH/REVIEW VOCABULARY
Have students share the meanings of
vocabulary words they know; then define
words they don’t. Have students share
examples of new kinds of technology. Ask
students where they see sensors used in
their daily lives.

TARGET SKILL AND STRATEGY
GRAPHIC SOURCES Remind students
that a graphic source is a way of showing
information visually. Note that graphics don’t
stand alone but work with text to help shed
light on topics that might be confusing or
less interesting without graphics. Discuss
types of graphics, including charts, maps,
diagrams, scale drawings, and schedules.
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Note for students
that, if they go to the movies, they likely
have a vast array of prior knowledge to help
understand the portions of this book devoted
to modern special effects. In addition, any
student who has worked on a computer
knows the power of technology to make
quick changes with text or calculations. As
they preview the book, students can connect
prior knowledge with chapter heads, photos,
and captions.

ADDITIONAL SKILL INSTRUCTION
SEQUENCE

Remind students that sequence
refers to the order of events or the steps
in a process. This book outlines the history
of special effects and also talks about
the steps in the process to create certain
special effects, such as split screen. Tell
students that dates and times of day are
useful clues to establishing sequence. Also
explain that sometimes several events or
steps happen simultaneously.

Hollywood Special Effects

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Name

Hollywood Special Effects

Graphic Sources
• Graphic sources include items such as advertisements, charts, diagrams, graphs, maps,
menus, photographs, recipes, and timetables.
• Use graphic sources to help you understand text and to draw conclusions as you read.

Directions Look at the graphic sources throughout Hollywood Special Effects. Then answer
the questions below.
1. What type of graphic source is shown on page 8?
2–3. What is the purpose of the graphic source on page 8? What does it show?

4. How does the graphic source on page 8 compare with the one on page 11?

5. Why might the author have included the photograph on pages 12–13?

6–7. What does the photograph on page 15 show? How does it help your understanding of the text?

10. What conclusion can you draw from studying the graphic sources used in this book?

© Pearson Education 5

8–9. What is the graphic source shown on page 19? What conclusion can you draw from that
graphic source?

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Hollywood Special Effects

Name

Vocabulary
Directions Choose the word from the box that best matches each definition.
Write the word on the line.

Check the Words You Know
blue screen
optical illusion

cinema
sensors

continuous motion
technology

matte painting

1.

an illusion created by showing different pictures one after
another at high speed

2.

something that looks different from what it really is

3.

another term for a movie theater

4.

devices that react to heat, light, pressure, or other
stimulations and send signals to a computer or other
electronic device

5.

special background against which actors are filmed
to create special effects

6.

a two-dimensional painting that serves as background for
a three-dimensional stage or studio set

7.

the equipment, objects, or methods used to carry out a
process

Directions Choose three vocabulary words. Use each word in a sentence.

© Pearson Education 5

8.

9.

10.

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