James Cameron’s Avatar

On November 16, 2010, the 3-Disc Extended Collectors Edition Blue-ray of James Cameron’s AVATAR will be available to the public. It is a tool that can support learning in middle and high school classrooms for educators willing to embrace pop culture as a learning tool. Let’s take a look at how it can be used by educators.

The first disk includes the original theatrical release, the special edition re-release and the exclusive extended cut edition not seen in theaters. A special family audio track is included that removes objectionable language making it ideal for classroom viewing. The Avatar story is a modernization of Costner’s “Dances with Wolves”. It gives English teachers an opportunity to engage students in critical thinking by allowing them to compare and contrast the two films. History teachers exploring the impact of exploration and colonization on native populations can use the film as a tool for discussion. Science educators can use the film to discuss conservation and ecological systems.

The second disk holds “Capturing Avatar”, a feature length documentary with James Cameron, Jon Landau, and the cast and crew. This documentary will help meet CTE requirements regarding the impact of digital technology on the audio/visual industry.

Open Pandora’s Box with the third disk and find a treasure trove of additional resources including the original scriptment, the 300 page screenplay and the Pandorapedia. There are featurettes including the 3d fusion camera and performance capture. These tools allow you to go beyond the storyline of the film to integrate Avatar into a wide variety of academic content areas.

For ideas on how to incorporate Avatar into your classroom check out our Pop Goes the Classroom Media Guide available for free download.

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