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Edge of America
SUBJECTS — Sports/Basketball; U.S./1945-1991; Diversity/Native
American & African American and New Mexico;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Breaking Out; Leadership; Teamwork;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Respect; Caring.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating: PG; Drama; 2003; 135 minutes; Color.
Loosely based on actual events, Edge of America presents the classic Cinderella sports team story with a unique racial and social twist. The basketball team is from a Native American high school on a reservation in the Southwest. It has a new coach. He's young, he's a hard taskmaster, and he's black. Like other sports stories, the film allows children to vicariously experience and work through the issues of trying hard against intimidating odds, the need for self-discipline, the need to work together as a team, the despair of defeat, and the exhilaration of victory.
In addition, Edge of America presents some interesting lessons about race relations in America. It also shows Native Americans as three dimensional characters with families, hopes, strengths, weaknesses, talents, and a culture of their own. The movie explores the difficulties that a basketball coach from the dominant culture experiences in learning to work with Native American girls.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Edge of America will help teachers guide young minds through this fascinating movie.
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Edge of America is a great girls' basketball movie and shows a unique relationship between African Americans and Native Americans.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below some discussion questions from the Learning Guide to Edge of America.
Why does Mother Tsosie call Mr. Williams (the black coach) a "white man?"
Mother Tsosie refers to "Mother Earth" -- What is "Mother Earth?"
Mr. Williams says, "Basketball never did a [...] thing for me that a book didn't do better." What did he mean by this and what is the significance of this comment for most people?
The Learning Guide to the film Edge of America 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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