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Media Festival: Story Unit

Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas
Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas

Cueva de Las Manos

This is a exploration of early human connections and storytelling.

Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved

Music and the Neanderthal’s Communication

The Discovery of Fire: Two Million Years of Campfire Stories

How Conversations Around Campfire Might Have Shaped Human Cognition And Culture

Campfire Tales Serve as Human Social Media

Campfire Stories May Have Lead to Early Societal Learning


When Fire Met Food, The Brains of Early Humans Grew Bigger

What kinds of stories…

In 12,000 Year Old Grave, A Shaman Shares Her Tomb with Animal Totems

Origin Myths: Definition and Examples

Myths and Legends

Origin Myths (NCSE)

Potential Writing Prompt:


Scientists have discovered many ancient graves of our earliest ancestors. These graves not only have the remains of those who died, but important artifacts that must have some significance. Create an historical fiction piece about a early human, male or female, and what happened, and what he or she was buried with. The narrator in the story might be either the one who died, or the person who buried them. Establish a relationship. Do some research to add authenticity. (You don’t want some anachronistic, meaning not of the right time. Your character was NOT buried with a cell phone.)

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
Postscript: For the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve done a ‘Cave of Hands’ lesson where the students create their own hands, and draw symbols of their values and culture. All the hands are cut from construction paper, and displayed on crumpled brown paper to resemble a cave. This is how we start our year. I don’t have a sample ‘handy’ but trust me — powerful stuff.
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Media Festival: Fear Unit

Note: Working on curating a variety of media and text(s) for thematic units. Bear with me, this is the best place, this blog, where I can archive/collect these materials.

I am crafting and revising a ‘fear’ unit–why do we fear, what is fear’s purpose, and how do we overcome it are the essential questions.

Mean Teddies from Tyler Novo on Vimeo.

Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers from Sims Films on Vimeo.

“Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers” is a short sci-fi/horror anthology that weaves three tales of monsters, killers, and things that go bump in the night. Recent winner of the audience award at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles. The project has been featured on io9, dread central, and on moviepilot. The film has been view more than 550k and called an “Anthology of Awesome,” by dread central.

Lights Out – Who’s There Film Challenge (2013) from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

For all our ~3 min horror films:
Winner of ‘Best Short’ at Bilbao Fantasy Film Festival 2014
Winner of ‘Best Director’ in the
Breakdown of the last shot:
Shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with a Tokina 11-16, F2.8.


World with No Fear-NPR

A Life Without Fear – NPR

Short Stories:

The Monkey’s Paw

The Tell-Tale Heart

(More to follow: if you have suggestions, please share!)

Some ideas for other film resources:

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
Chinese Theatre Screening – Hollyshorts
Los Angeles Movie Awards (Fall)
New Orleans Horror Film Festival
SoCal Film Festival
IFFCA (International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts)
Eerie Horror Film Festival and Expo, Erie, Pa.
Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival Idaho Horror Film Festival
Austin’s Housecore Horror Film Festival
Dia de Los Muertos event at Crafted Port of Los Angeles
Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival 2015, co-presented by EMP Museum and the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
RadCon SciFi and Fantasy Convention; Pasco, WA
Seattle Crypticon Horror Convention; Seattle WA
Sasquan International Film Festival / Worldcon; Spokane, WA
Tri-Cities International Fantastic Film Festival; Richland WA
The Big Easy International Film Festival
Dark Matters Film Festival, Arizona
Mindf*ck Film Festival (Santa Monica, Vidiots Foundation Screening Room)
Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival
“Galaxy Theater,” Santa Rosa’s Northbay TV sci-fi program
Pasadena International Film Festival
Nashville International Film Festival
Crimson Screen Film Festival
Bonebat (Comedy/Horror) Film Festival
SoCal Creative and Innovative Film Festival
Oceanside International Film Festival

For more information visit

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