Feb. 13, 2007

Encore: History

This week in Public History we are continuing to discuss how film can be used to inform an audience about historical events and movements. This week’s game is simply an adaptation of a classic game called “Encore.”

The purpose of Encore: History is to get the class focused on the discussion for the week, which in this case is history and film. The goal of the game is to think of the greatest number of unique movies, actors, or historical subjects.

Each player needs a piece of paper and a pencil. The leader than chooses a topic; for example, films dealing with history (It might be a good idea to specify a time period). Players then have five minutes to create a list of as many films as possible. At the end of the five minutes, players will share the title of one of the films that they brainstormed, starting with the player whose birthday lies closest to the professor’s birthday on the calendar. Once a film has been used, other players must cross it off their list, and it can no longer be used. The person who can go on listing unique movies for the longest wins bragging rights.

This is an effective focusing activity because it challenges individuals to come up with poorly-known films. As a result, more films are brainstormed than might be thought of by one person, and this larger list can be used in the subsequent discussion!

Have fun!