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SUBJECTS — Science Fiction;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Courage; Disabilities;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Caring; Responsibility.
Charly is the movie version of the science fiction classic Flowers for Algernon. The protagonist is a mentally handicapped man who undergoes an experimental operation that turns him into a genius. Unfortunately, the improvement in Charly's intelligence is only temporary.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Charly uses the INTO, THROUGH and BEYOND organization for a student centered lesson plan. It shows teachers how to use the movie, the short story, or the novel to help students learn about the mentally handicapped. It suggests several ways to explore the themes of the story, including class discussion, debates, essays and presentations. The Beyond section suggests class discussions about experimentation on human beings and activities to help the mentally handicapped.
Charly and Flowers for Algernon show the humanity of mentally handicapped individuals and some of the difficulties they face in a society that has little tolerance for those who are different. The audience is able to sympathize with the problems faced by Charly Gordon and empathize with his desire to be smarter and to fit in.
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Charly and Flowers for Algernon raise interesting questions about the ethics of experiments on human beings.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Charly.
MOST STUDENTS LIKE THE BOOK BETTER THAN THE MOVIE! This film is based on the award winning novel, Flowers for Algernon. In our experience and that of other teachers, most students who have both read the book and seen the movie, prefer the book. However, students are eager to watch just about any film. Seeing the movie after they have read the book confirms the lessons of the story and offers students the opportunity to make comparisons between the book and the film. This Learning Guide offers insights into teaching both the printed and filmed versions.
The Learning Guide to the film Charly contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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