Arts Audio Video Technology And Communications Descriptive Essay

The purpose of this course is to provide a project-based visual arts program, which guides students to achieve the standards in the visual arts and career technical training, by providing students with the technical instruction and practical experiences for aspiring video and film makers in the production of film, video, and new media projects for business and entertainment. Students experience both the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking in conjunction with learning about historical and contemporary traditions and conventions.Students are instructed on the three stages of project creation. In pre-production, students learn the basic principles of story development, screenplay writing, storyboarding, scheduling and budget planning. Instruction in the production stage includes basic visual composition, color theory, set up and operation of camera, sound, and lighting equipment. Students learn to use cutting-edge software applications for video and audio post-production. Mastering and delivery methods, in both traditional and new media, are explored.The course also includes the basics of job shadowing, internships, and job placement. The competencies in this course are aligned with the California High School Academic Content Standards and the California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards. Interdisciplinary experiences and arts activities lead to refining a personal aesthetic, and a heightened understanding of career opportunities in art and arts-related fields.

About the Team: This structure of this course and the materials contained within it were created by a team of educators from across the state with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Antonio Manriquez.

From CALPADS: Intermediate Film/Video Production (Concentrator)

This course covers the history and development of the cinema, documentaries, and other new media and film technologies. Students learn skills and practices in various aspects of cinema and video production by applying the elements of art, principles of design, integration of technology for the effective visual communication of their ideas, feelings, and values. Students develop skills, including camera/recording operation, framing and composition, manipulations of space and time, idea development and communication, the mechanics and psychology of editing, script writing or text creation, light and sound, and impact.

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
    • Design, Visual, and Media Arts
Grade Levels
UC A-G Approval - No
Production and Managerial Arts / Film/Video Production - (7244) Intermediate Film/Video Production (Concentrator) (7244)
CALPADS Course Title
(7244) Intermediate Film/Video Production (Concentrator)
Course Level
Total Hours
Course Length
2 Semesters
Board Approval
Labor Market Demand
Is this course industry certified?
Course Type
Career-Technical Preparation

Related Occupations

Writer/Script Writer
Technical Staff Member
Foley Artist
Make-up Artist
Lighting, Props, Set
Sound Technician/Sound engineer

California English Common Core Standards (12)
  • RL.4.3Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
  • RL.7.3Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
  • RL.8.3Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • RL.11-12.3Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters/archetypes are introduced and developed).
  • RL.2.6Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
  • RL.4.6Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
  • RL.9-10.4Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). (See grade 9–10 Language standards 4–6 for additional expectations.)
  • RST.9-10.3Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
  • W.6.10Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • WHST.9-10.6Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
  • WHST.11-12.4Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • L.11-12.4aUse context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
California's 2008 CTE Standards (71)
  • CTE.PS.C.C2.1Understand the qualities of effective leadership and how to exercise them in a group and in meetings.
  • CTE.PS.C.C2.2Exercise people skills, including respect, adaptability, and interpersonal skills, to provide group leadership and promote collaboration.
  • CTE.IT.B.B3.3Use various types of audio and video equipment (e.g., digital cameras, recorders, scanners, Web cams, and CD and DVD recorders), as appropriate, for different projects.
  • CTE.MPD.A.A8.2Produce black-and-white and color images under natural and studio lighting conditions.
  • CTE.MPD.B.B4.2Understand the process for producing a comprehensive script and storyboard.
  • CTE.AME.C.C1.2Apply knowledge of equipment and skills related to production in a variety of arts, media, and entertainment occupations.
  • CTE.AME.C.C1.4Know the elements involved in creating a media or performing arts production for video or electronic presentation.
  • CTE.AME.C.C2.3Identify the activities and linkages from each stage associated with the preproduction, production, and postproduction of a creative project.
  • CTE.AME.C.C2.6Apply knowledge of services, equipment capabilities, the workflow process, data acquisition, and technology to a timely completion of projects.
  • CTE.AME.C.C2.5Apply knowledge of equipment and skills to determine the equipment, crew, technical support, and cast requirements for an arts, media, and entertainment production.
  • CTE.AME.C.C2.1Know the key elements and functional responsibilities involved in the production and presentation of the performing, visual, and media arts.
  • CTE.AME.FS.9.1Understand the characteristics and benefits of teamwork, leadership, and citizenship in the school, community, and workplace settings.
  • CTE.AME.FS.9.3Understand how to organize and structure work individually and in teams for effective performance and attainment of goals.
  • CTE.AME.FS.4.7Understand how technology can reinforce, enhance, or alter products and performances
  • CTE.AME.FS.4.5Know the key technological skills appropriate for occupations in the arts industry.
  • CTE.AME.FS.4.4Understand digital applications appropriate to specific media and projects.
  • CTE.AME.FS.4.6Know how technology and the arts are interrelated in the development of presentations and productions.
  • CTE.AME.FS.10.10Use technical applications in the creative process, where appropriate.
  • CTE.AME.FS.10.7Understand and analyze the elements of the art form.
  • CTE.AME.FS.10.12Use a variety of strategies (e.g., personal experience, discussion, research) to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate source and technical documents and materials.
  • CTE.AME.FS.10.6Know the appropriate skills and vocabulary of the art form.
  • CTE.AME.FS.8.5Understand the ethical implications of the degree of influence media, arts, and performances have on individuals.
  • CTE.AME.FS.8.4Adhere to the copyright and intellectual property laws and regulations, and use and cite proprietary information appropriately.
  • CTE.AME.FS.5.3Use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions and solve problems.
  • CTE.AME.FS.5.2Understand the universal, systematic problem-solving model that incorporates input, process, outcome, and feedback components.
  • CTE.AME.FS.5.1Apply appropriate problem-solving strategies and critical thinking skills to work-related issues and tasks.
  • CTE.AME.FS.5.5Understand the application of research and analysis skills to the creation of content.
  • CTE.AME.FS.5.4Use the elements of the particular art form to observe, perceive, and respond.
  • CTE.AME.FS.2.0Communications
  • CTE.AME.FS.11.0Demonstration and Application
  • CTE.AME.B.B2.3.2.2Advanced - Improvise or write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic structure (exposition, complication, crises, climax, and resolution) and including complex characters with unique dialogue that motivates the action.
  • CTE.AME.B.B2.3.2.1Advanced - Make acting choices, using script analysis, character research, reflection, and revision to create characters from classical, contemporary, realistic, and nonrealistic dramatic texts.
  • CTE.AME.B.B2.3.2.2Proficient - Write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic structure: exposition, complication, conflict, crises, climax, and resolution.
  • CTE.AME.B.B1.2.1.5Analyze and describe the use of musical elements in a given work that makes it unique, interesting, and expressive.
  • CTE.AME.B.B1.2.1.1Read a full instrument or vocal score and describe how the elements of music are used.
  • CTE.AME.B.B1.3.1.1Use the vocabulary of theatre, such as genre, style, acting values, theme, and design, to describe theatrical experiences.
  • CTE.AME.B.B4.2.4.3Advanced - Compare and contrast the musical means used to create images or evoke feelings and emotions in works of music from various cultures.
  • CTE.AME.B.B3.3.3.3Proficient - Identify key figures, works, and trends in world theatrical history from various cultures and time periods.
  • CTE.AME.B.B6.4Understand how stage sets, costumes, lighting, musical instruments, props, and other effects support a performance.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.3.3.1Advanced - Identify contemporary styles and discuss the diverse social, economic, and political developments reflected in the works of art examined.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.3.3.1Proficient - Identify similarities and differences in the purposes of art created in selected cultures.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.3.3.3Proficient - Identify and describe trends in the visual arts and discuss how the issues of time, place, and cultural influence are reflected in selected works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.3.3.2Proficient - Identify and describe the role and influence of new technologies on contemporary works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.7.1.2Use point of view, characterization, style (e.g., use of irony), and related elements for specific rhetorical and aesthetic purposes.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.7.1.5Use language in natural, fresh, and vivid ways to establish a specific tone.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.7.1.1Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker, audience, form) when completing narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptive writing assignments.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.8.1.3Reflect appropriate manuscript requirements in writing.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.8.1.1Demonstrate control of grammar, diction, and paragraph and sentence structure and an understanding of English usage.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.6Advanced - Describe the use of the elements of art to express mood in one or more of their works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.1Advanced - Analyze and discuss complex ideas, such as distortion, color theory, arbitrary color, scale, expressive content, and real versus virtual in works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.1Proficient - Identify and use the principles of design to discuss, analyze, and write about visual aspects in the environment and in works of art, including their own.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.3Advanced - Analyze their works of art as to personal direction and style.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.4Proficient - Analyze and describe how the composition of a work of art is affected by the use of a particular principle of design.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.1.1.3Proficient - Research and analyze the work of an artist and write about the artist's distinctive style and its contribution to the meaning of the work.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.4.4.1Advanced - Describe the relationship involving the art maker (artist), the making (process), the artwork (product), and the viewer.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.4.4.4Proficient - Articulate the process and rationale for refining and reworking one of their own works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.4.4.1Proficient - Articulate how personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and current social, economic, and political contexts influence the interpretation of the meaning or message in a work of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.4.4.3Proficient - Formulate and support a position regarding the aesthetic value of a specific work of art and change or defend that position after considering the views of others.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.5.5.2Proficient - Create a work of art that communicates a cross-cultural or universal theme taken from literature or history.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.1Proficient - Solve a visual arts problem that involves the effective use of the elements of art and the principles of design.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.5Advanced - Use innovative visual metaphors in creating works of art.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.3Proficient - Develop and refine skill in the manipulation of digital imagery (either still or video).
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.1Advanced - Create original works of art of increasing complexity and skill in a variety of media that reflect their feelings and points of view.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.2Proficient - Prepare a portfolio of original two-and three-dimensional works of art that reflects refined craftsmanship and technical skills.
  • CTE.AME.A.A1.2.2.4Advanced - Demonstrate in their own works of art a personal style and an advanced proficiency in communicating an idea, theme, or emotion.
  • CTE.AME.A.A2.4Know the features and uses of current and emerging technology related to computing (e.g., optical character recognition, sound processing, cable TV, cellular phones).
  • CTE.AME.A.A2.5Know the writing processes, formats, and conventions used for various media.
  • CTE.AME.A.A2.2Know the component steps and skills required to design, edit, and produce a production for audio, video, electronic, or printed presentation.
  • CTE.AME.A.A2.3Use technology to create a variety of audio, visual, written, and electronic products and presentations.
  • CTE.AME.A.A2.1Analyze the way in which technical design (e.g., color theory, lighting, graphics, typography, posters, sound, costumes, makeup) contributes to a performance or presentation.
  • CTE.ANR.FS.4.5Determine the validity of the content and evaluate the authenticity, reliability, and bias of electronic and other resources.
California Academic Content Standards (62)

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Lesson Plan

Descriptive Video: Using Media Technology to Enhance Writing




This lesson helps students improve their writing abilities and their attention to details while experiencing a new technology called Descriptive Video. Also known as described programming, Descriptive Video refers to programming with an additional audio track that narrates a film's visual elements. Students watch the opening scene of the standard version of the Disney film The Lion King and write a description of it. They then watch the same opening scene with the descriptions and captions available online at the National Center for Accessible Media. They will write another descriptive summary on this scene. Students share their two writing samples aloud and compare their pre- and post-audio descriptions.

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  • Compare & Contrast Map: Students can use this tool to map out their response to similarities and differences between the two summaries of the scene from The Lion King.
  • Venn Diagram: This tool allows students to easily organize the similarities and differences between the two summaries of the opening scene from The Lion King.

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Hoffner, H., Baker, E., & Quinn, K.B. (2008). Lights, cameras, pencils! Using Descriptive Video to enhance writing. The Reading Teacher, 61(7) 576–579.

  • Descriptive Video (also known as described programming) is a technology that was developed to help individuals with visual impairments enjoy films and television programs. A Descriptive Video program has an additional audio track that can be activated by using the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) feature on a television, videocassette recorder (VCR), or DVD player. This additional audio track contains narration to explain a film's visual elements such as an unusual costume, an actor's gestures, or a car chase scene.

  • Although Descriptive Video technology was developed to assist individuals with visual impairments, it can be used to help all students build their vocabulary, comprehension, and writing ability.

  • Teachers can use Descriptive Video technology to differentiate instruction. Described programming gives students models of highly descriptive writing. Some students are able to use these models and improve their writing with relative independence. Other students require greater scaffolding.

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Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.



Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.



Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.



Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.


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Resources & Preparation


  • The Lion King movie (Walt Disney Feature Animation, 1994)
  • Computer with Internet access and LCD projector
  • Chart paper or overhead projector (optional)

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Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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Student’s Self-Assessment

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Teacher’s Assessment of the Lesson

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Obtain a copy of the movie The Lion King by borrowing it from your school or public library. View the opening segment (about the first 2 to 3 minutes). Then access the online version at the National Center for Accessible Media and watch the same opening scene with descriptions and captions. Make sure you have the equipment needed (e.g., television, VCR or DVD player, computer with LCD projector) to share both versions with your students.

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Instructional Plan


Students will

  • Use descriptive language, including content vocabulary, to write a retelling of a segment of a movie scene

  • Use a technology called Descriptive Video to enhance their writing skills

  • Employ and practice a variety of writing strategies

  • Reflect on and analyze their writing by comparing their two writing samples and completing the self-assessment rubric

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Instruction & Activities

1.To activate background knowledge, ask students if they have ever seen The Lion King. For those who have, ask students to share what they remember about the story. Give students time to share their memories. This should familiarize those who have not seen the film with some of its content.

2.Tell students they are going to watch the opening segment of the movie and then write a descriptive retelling of it to share with the class.

3.After viewing the film segment, write a descriptive retelling while students also write one. Here is a student sample:
In the beginning animals like zebra, monkey, elephant, birds, and lions were right in back of Mufasa and Sarabi. So ZuZu put some kind of fruit on Simba’s head and took Simba from out of Sarabi’s arms and lifted him up. All the animals started to cheer for Simba’s birth. Monkeys started to jump around and elephants lifted their trunks.
4.Using your computer and LCD projector, access the National Center for Accessible Media and download the same opening scene with descriptions and captions.

5.Before showing this version, tell students that there is a new technology called Descriptive Video that provides a verbal description of the actions in a film or TV show when there is no dialogue. Tell students that they are going to watch the same scene as before from The Lion King but this time they will watch it with description added.

6.After viewing this version, have students write another descriptive retelling of the scene. The same student from Step 3 wrote the following:
In the beginning animals like zebras, monkeys, elephants, birds, and lions were right in back of Mufasa and Sarabi. Then a baby giraffe and her mother went to the ceremony. So Rafiki climbed up and gave Mufasa a hug. Rafiki got two melons and Simba lifted his hand. Rafiki cracked one melon open and got his finger and rubbed the melon across his head. Rafiki took Simba from out of Sarabi’s arms and lifted him up. Monkeys jumped around and elephants lifted their trunks. Zebras made stamps of smoke in the air. Then the animals bowed down and nearly touched the ground.
Notice that this student provided additional description and clarification in this second version. Instead of writing, “Some kind of fruit,” she used the word “melon.” More animals, such as “a baby giraffe,” were named.

7.Invite students to share what they have written and compare this version with their first version. Have student look for more specific terminology, more descriptive words and phrases, and more elaboration of detail in their second versions. If they do not see any differences between their first and second versions, ask students to share their writing with a peer and ask for advice. Then have students view the described version again now that they know where they should focus their attention.

8.Use a Venn diagram on the board, chart paper, or overhead to fill in the similarities and differences between the two writing samples. You may also have students work in pairs using the interactive Venn Diagram or the Compare & Contrast Map (point-to-point comparison).

9.Have students then share why they think their writing improved and give their opinions comparing the two viewing experiences, with and without description.

10.Distribute the Student’s Self-Assessment sheet to encourage students to reflect upon their work during the lesson.

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  • Students can view various programs on PBS Kids and create their own descriptions for those portions of the shows that do not have dialogue. For example, students could visit DragonflyTV: African Penguins by Keshia and Ashley to download the film clip and write a description.

  • Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) and commercial broadcasting stations offer described programming that is appropriate for students in grades 3 to 5. Students can watch programs such as Reading Rainbow and Arthur and compare the described and standard versions. A list of described programs can be found at the Media Access Group at WGBH. You can also consult local programming guides to find appropriate described programs.

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Related Resources


Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


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Grades   3 – 8  |  Professional Library  |  Journal

Lights, Cameras, Pencils! Using Descriptive Video to Enhance Writing

Read and write with the movies using an innovative technology called Descriptive Video.


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