Creating Digital Documentaries

Working with students to create documentary films is a challenging but very rewarding experience. Even for teachers who regularly facilitate student projects, we've found that creating documentaries is a very different process. Over the last year, we've partnered with two documentary filmmakers at the College of William & Mary to help us better understand how to support students to create high quality documentary films.With their assistance, we have developed the following four-part video professional development series to support you in leading documentary projects in the classroom. We encourage you to watch the following sequence of videos. As you watch, you may find it helpful to download the following materials that we will refer to in the videos:

  1. Production Team Timeline
  2. Documentary Treatment Template
  3. Storyboard Template
  4. Documentary Assessment Rubric

Part One: Documentaries in the Classroom

Part Two: Toward a Better Student-Created Documentary

Part Three: Guiding a Documentary Project in the Classroom

Part Four: Assessing Student Documentary Projects

For tea
chers wanting information on how to create digital documentaries, we would also direct you to the Digital Directors Guild which provides resources for teachers getting started in documentary making.


A partnership between the College of William & Mary School of Education, the University of Kentucky College of Education,
and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program