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Writers at school


Janice Benthin

Creative non-fiction


Janice Benthin

During her career Janice Benthin has researched and written countless documentaries. She has also helped people tell their own stories by training teens and adults in documentary techniques. Her career has taken her from working with teens at risk in the Philippines, through the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in Nunavut, to the Prix Jeunesse Awards in Munich and the NFB in Montreal.

Suggested reading*

Aboriginal Architecture (script)

*These titles have been suggested by the author based on the activities that he/she proposes to students.
It is, however, up to teachers to verify whether the titles are appropriate for their groups (age and education level, specific context, etc.).
Teaching staff are invited to contact the author for clarification on this aspect and assistance in preparing their groups for his/her visit.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Her approach is to provide a hands-on, active learning environment. She introduces activities that isolate the elements of film and show how they can be brought together in unexpected and entertaining ways. If a teacher has a specific topic that he or she wants to bring to life through video-making, the artist works closely within the teacher's overall plan to provide technical and creative support to achieve their program goals.

Examples of activities

One set of activities is a series of simple demonstrations followed by hands-on exercises designed to introduce participants to the art and potential of video storytelling. These can be completed, with interesting and fun results to share with an audience, within one session. Janice Benthin has also done workshops focusing on script development through the use of storytelling exercises that highlight and separate the elements of sound, picture and pacing. The simple outlines can be storyboarded easily with the use of Polaroid or digital cameras. Stories can then be quickly edited and revised simply by shuffling the pictures around. She can also provide technical and creative support aimed at specific types of video production that complement curriculum activities. Political advertisements, historical re-creations, socially relevant documentaries and psa's are all projects that she has worked on in the past. Equipment requirements depend on the extent of the program. They can be as simple as a television set and an inexpensive video-camera. They can also be expanded to include a digital camera to create story boards, and the use of a computer for editing more complex projects.

Special conditions

For information

Janice Benthin
Phone : 514 279-1717
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Primary 5, Primary 6, Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

Available in

In every regions

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