SUBJECTS — Literature/England; World/England;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Romantic Relationships;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect; Caring.
AGE: 10+; MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild language;
Comedy; 1996; 120 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
MOVIE WORKSHEETS & STUDENT HANDOUTS
TWM offers the following movie worksheets to keep students’ minds on the film and to focus their attention on the lessons to be learned from the movie.
Teachers can modify the movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM’s Historical Fiction in Film Cross-Curricular Homework Project and Movies as Literature Homework Project.
Additional ideas for lesson plans for this movie can be found at TWM’s guide to Lesson Plans Using Film Adaptations of Novels, Short Stories or Plays.
This movie describes a young woman who meddles in the lives and romances of others. She tries to do good, as she sees it, but often makes a mess of things. The film is based upon Jane Austen’s novel of the same name.
SELECTED AWARDS & CAST
1997 Academy Awards: Best Music; 1997 Golden Satellite Awards: Best Actress (Paltrow); 1997 Academy Awards Nominations: Best Costumes; 1997 Writers Guild of America: Best Screenplay.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Toni Collette, Alan Cumming.
Selected Awards & Cast Here.
BENEFITS OF THE MOVIE
The film is an excellent introduction to Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. Austen’s writings are difficult for most students to read. A college level teacher has reported that her students are more interested in reading another Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility, after they have seen a film version. She also tested students who had been shown the film before they read the book against a control group of students who hadn’t seen the film but had only read the novel. She found that students who had viewed the film before reading the book had a better understanding of the characters and the plot. Watching this movie before reading the book Emma should have the same result. (See “Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility as Gateway to Austen’s Novel” contained in Jane Austen in Hollywood, Edited by Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield, 1998, University of Kentucky Press, pages 140 – 147.)
Review Before Seeing the Film in the Learning Guide to “Pride and Prejudice” and communicate as much as possible to your child. You will not be able to cover everything but do the best you can. Immediately after the movie, or at odd times over the next week (for example, at the dinner table or in the car on the way to school), bring up some of the Discussion Questions, starting with the Quick Discussion Question in the sidebar. Don’t worry if you can only get through a few questions. Just taking the film seriously and discussing it is the key. Allow your child to watch the movie several times and continue to ask and help him or her answer more discussion questions.
2. What did you think of Emma as a person?
1. How did Emma almost lose Knightley?
2. How did Emma’s interference in the romantic relationships of others relate to her own fear of a romantic relationship?
3. Why did Emma fear entering into a romantic relationship? Why does anyone have that fear?
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS (CHARACTER COUNTS)
Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.
(Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule; Be tolerant of differences; Use good manners, not bad language; Be considerate of the feelings of others; Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone; Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements)
1. How can you attempt to help someone but at the same time honor the principle of respect for them as an individual?
ASSIGNMENTS, PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
BRIDGES TO READING
For Parents: Encourage your child to read Emma after seeing the film. The book is much more detailed than the film and contains subplots and descriptions not shown in the film. Perhaps the two of you could read it together and discuss your reactions as you go along.
LINKS TO THE INTERNET
In addition to websites which may be linked in the Guide and selected film reviews listed on the Movie Review Query Engine, the following resources were consulted in the preparation of this Learning Guide:
- Jane Austen in Hollywood, Edited by Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield, 1998, University of Kentucky Press.
This Learning Guide was written by James Frieden and was published on December 7, 2015.