"Flipped: Doing Hard Time" Video Review for Educators

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Summary and Review of Discovery Education Video

The video, Flipped: Doing Hard Time features Jonathan, who receives a wakeup call to stay out of trouble with the law. Jonathan, 18, is no stranger to trouble. Some of his juvenile crimes include burglary, trespassing, and fraud. Tina, 17, says that she likes to fight. Tina fights in the moment and does not think about repercussions. The teens agree to give up control of their lives for a day, not knowing that they will be flipped into the experience of criminals in maximum-security prisons. The flipped series is available on Discovery Education, also known as United Streaming. While in prison, confronted by criminals, the teens’ attitudes about crime and violence change; they realize that they do not what to go to prison or pay for their crimes with their lives.

A teacher’s guide with free lesson plans accompanies the video. The AIMS Multimedia teacher’s guide and lesson plans, written by Angela Santiago Chung, contains hands-on activities, like conflict resolution role playing, teaching teens to problem-solve and think of appropriate alternatives to fighting for resolving conflicts. The teacher’s guide also includes lessons for critical thinking, writing, technology, media application, and a culminating activity. Students learn vocabulary by matching words to definitions and creating sentences for the included vocabulary words. Reading comprehension questions, with multiple-choice questions, true and false questions, and short answers help determine understanding.

Teachers should be aware of the inappropriate language in this video. The language, however, is “beeped” out. Although, perceptive students certainly know what is said. Students discover that there are consequences making the wrong choices in life, and they understand what it is like to lose control and freedom. Most of the video is realistic. There are some parts of the video when viewers can tell that the youths are aware of the set-up. For example, Tina simulates being on death row. She is strapped into an electric chair. Watching Flipped: Doing Hard Time will work for some students but not others, because the video seemingly will have no effect on them. The lesson plans, and discussion-starters are excellent for teaching students using the theory based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.