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SUBJECTS — World/Tibet; Religions;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — None;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Citizenship.
Age: 10+; Rated PG (brief glimpse of male nudity); Drama; 1996; 120 minutes; Color.
Buddhist monks suspect that a child born in Seattle is the reincarnation of their spiritual master. They go to the child's family and convince his father to take the boy to Tibet to determine if the child is, in fact, the reincarnation. They introduce the child to the life story of the Buddha, which is re-enacted in the film.
The film was inspired by the experiences of Sonam Wangdu (born 1992), the child of a Buddhist family from the U.S. and the great, great, nephew of a revered leader of a sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Little Buddha will help parents and teachers introduce the story of Siddartha, who became the Buddha by choosing to seek Enlightenment. The Guide contains a brief description of the fundamentals of Buddhism.
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Little Buddha is an excellent introduction to Buddhism.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below two paragraph from the Learning Guide to Little Buddha.
Buddha said that he was a teacher/therapist who recognized the cause of life's pain and despair and then proposed the cure; a cure which makes man a different creature with a different and wonderful world in which to live. The cure that Buddha found was a path to Enlightenment, the highest destiny of man. An enlightened person attains a state in which the boundary of the finite self is extinguished and he becomes one with all things. In Buddhism, an enlightened person reaches a condition beyond the limitations of body and of mind; beyond thought, feelings and will.
Buddha did not claim to be divine. He was not a savior but rather a teacher and therapist. Buddhists do not worship the Buddha, instead, they revere him. Enlightenment is not a mystical encounter with God. Rather it is an exercise in becoming more fully human by directly realizing the nature of reality.
The Learning Guide to the film Little Buddha 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.
A subscription to TeachWithMovies.com will give teachers access to 350 Snippet Lesson Plans, Learning Guides and Movie Lesson Plans. Subscribe Today and introduce students to Buddhism through Little Buddha.
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