titleinquiry logo

Good Night and Good Luck: Movies and Inquiry

Good Night Good Luck

Before exploring the inquiry projects of children and young adults, think about your own inquiry process. What motives you to seek information and ideas? The following example is a quick look at how quickly every day activities turn into inquiry-rich learning experiences.

What movies have you seen lately?

I wonder... I question...
While watching the movie Good Night and Good Luck, my mind was filled with questions (check out the movie trailer). How much of the movie is true? How do the real people and events compare to the movie? What happened in the years after the movie? How is the movie like recent events in our history? Where can I find all those cool quotes from the movie by Edward R. Murrow?

I explore...
I go to and IMDB and Wikipedia and do a search for Good Night, and Good Luck. I find lots of information about the accuracy of the movie as well as interesting trivia. However I also check multiple sources to check the accuracy of the websites. The links provide connections to classroom learning resources such as the National Archives Educator section. I learn about Milo Radulovich through current interviews (another one).

I assimilate... I infer...
I hadn't heard about the connection with Milo Radulovich, Don Hollenbeck, and many of the lesser known people that were impacted by McCarthyism. I have a better understanding of the wide range of people whose lives were changed by unfounded accusations. I can connect these events to others from the past and present from the Salem Witch Trials to Guantanamo Bay. I wonder how many news reports today would take a risk to tell the truth. Conclusion - Fear, hatred, and hysteria are powerful emotions. Humans don't seem to learn from history. The "witch hunts" and fear reflected in the movie related McCarthyism lives today.

I wonder some more...
What other themes did they tackle? What's the timeline of events? What happened to Murrow and others? I learned about about Edward R. Murrow and the TV Program See It Now. I could read the transcript of the March 9, 1954 program. I wonder about the lack of depth in today's television programs.

I wonder... I assimilate... I discover...
I wonder about today’s journalists, news agencies, and the influence of corporate media ownership an advertising. Many of these things are happening now. We are making the same mistakes. How do we get kids to become more active thinkers to prevent this in the future?

Report It Now from Participate.net focuses on getting young adults to become active in their community. Go to South Central Farmers (.mov) video as an example. They even have a journalism contest for young people. At Review and Rate, participants are asked to submit articles for review. Students follow the Journalism Code of Ethics. This real-world Code of Ethics could be used as the basis for an authentic project evaluation tool.

I reflect...
The movie was a great springboard for my learning. What other movies could provide a shared experience to promote inquiry?

What movies have you seen that you'd like to explore? Go to Books and Movies in the Classroom from Multimedia Seeds page for book-movie-classroom connections.


| SLIS-IUPUI | eduScapes | About | Contact Us | ©2005, 2006