Making a wildlife documentary can be an exciting way to engage with the natural world, triggering young people’s curiosity. David Attenborough said “I can't pretend that I got involved with filming the natural world fifty years ago because I had some great banner to carry about conservation - not at all, I always had a huge pleasure in just watching the natural world and seeing what happens.”
Through producing their own wildlife documentary young people may become more aware of their responsibility towards the natural world. Connecting to environmental topics can expose students to any number of global issues, reduce isolation, and encourages them to draw inspiration and understanding from sources beyond their home environment.
Making films at home does not have to be complicated and expensive. It’s possible to make a good short documentary with nothing more than a mobile phone, an enthusiastic interviewer and some interesting subjects.
A documentary film can inform, attack a perspective, persuade, educate, entertain, defend a perspective, critique, and observe real life. There are lots of ways to make a creative and engaging documentary such as: a short observational film about a day in the life of the garden; a reconstruction of an animal in their natural habitat; interviewing family members about their understanding of climate change.
For inspiration pupils can be encouraged to research and watch nature documentaries. This is a great way to get together with the family to watch, engage with, and discuss the important issues of our times.
Films are multi-sensory and have the potential to create an emotional connection to their subject matter. The impact of audio and visual components supports students' ability to retain information. We can see this first-hand at Suntrap with our outdoor learning sessions.
Watching educational films can capture the attention of young people and broaden their horizons. Global stories and issues become relevant to their lives and encourage them to find their own voices, making them stronger global citizens. We look forward to sharing the great films we know our young people will produce.