Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Folk Streams - Documentaries of American Life

Folk Streams is a good website featuring documentary films of American life. Visitors to Folk Streams will find films about various demographic segments of the population as well as films about regions of the country. The films are produced by independent directors and come from a variety of distributors. Most of the films appear to be between thirty and sixty minutes in length although there are some films outside of that range. Visitors to Folk Streams can search by region, subject, title, filmmaker, or distributor.

One of the films that is of interest to me is Woodsmen and River Drivers. This film documents the work of Maine loggers in the 1930's. It includes footage from the 1930's and commentary from loggers.

Folk Streams is one of the sites included in Open Culture's list of The Top Cultural and Educational Video Sites.

Applications for Education
Humanities teachers in US middle schools and high schools looking to include local and regional history in their lessons should examine Folk Streams. Folk Streams does have a teacher's portal which offer three lesson plans directly related to specific films and one "generic" lesson plan that can be adapted for use with most of the films.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Snag a Free Full-Length Documentary
NeoK12 - A Super Collection of Educational Videos
PBS Launches a New Video Portal
The Library of Congress is Now On YouTube