Investigating Realities

AP Lang students wrap up two-month long documentary project


One group works in the lounge, finalizing their project.

Katharine Walker, Editor-in-Chief

     Documentaries are a means of exposing, revealing, or informing viewers the truths and realities of the world either to provide insight or to promote change to the environment. It seems that the factual nature of this type of film corresponds with the essence of AP English Language as students in this junior-level class were tasked with creating a ten minute documentary.

     “The assignment was to create a documentary over a set list of possible issues,” junior Austin Huizinga said. “We had to take advantage of professional documentary tactics in order for the documentary to fit the criteria.”

     The possibilities were endless when it came to choosing a topic. According to junior Christian Schnell, “you could do anything from conspiracy theories all the way to Lady GaGa.” Schnell’s group chose the wide-encompassing topic of music to focus on for their documentary.

     “I think my class will find it really interesting,” Schnell said. “Music affects everyone in different ways. I mean, we all have different views and perspectives on it. That’s why we chose it.”

     While guidelines were set for this project, students really had a lot of freedom to choose, film, and capture a certain topic.


Hersh works on his documentary in the lounge

   “I’m doing a documentary over Coach Zoda,” junior Hersh Alang said. “It’s going to be about his life and who he is, as he is the coach for the Reedy lion football team who played really well this season.”

     Because the project lasted two months, students had the option to choose who they wanted to work with in groups of three to four. The reason for the AP Lang. teachers allowing groups to choose their own members was because a lot of the work was meant to be done outside of school on holiday breaks.

     “I worked with Reshma, Jennifer, and Kenzie,” junior Isabella Ammons said. “We did our project over my best friend, Grace Ann, who works with kids with special needs, especially those with autism.”

     One of the requirements for this film was to interview several relevant people to discuss the topic of each group’s documentary. The anchor of the groups was responsible for formulating interview questions to ask each chosen person. Isabella Ammons worked with her group to get their interviews in.

     “We interviewed Grace Ann, our other friend, Grace Jensen, Grace Ann’s mom, one of Grace Ann’s friend’s sister who has down syndrome, and a mom of a little boy who has autism,” Ammons said.

     This project took a lot of effort by students in order to get a pleasing final project. Students had to take initiative to learn by themselves techniques to make a good documentary.

     “It was very fun working on this project,” Schnell said. “We got to make it really meaningful and impactful.”