SUBJECTS — U.S./1945 - 1991 & Health (disabilities; effects
of early-life trauma);;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Disabilities; Work/Career;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect; Citizenship.
Age: 14+; MPAA Rating: R for language and some marijuana use by Vietnam veterans; Drama; 94 minutes; 2007; Color.
Music Within is a biography of Richard Pimentel, one of the people responsible for passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. However, when properly supported by the information, discussion questions and assignments in TWM's Learning Guide, the film provides much more:
Health Classes: Students love the character of Art, a man confined to a wheelchair by cerebral palsy. Art's spastic movements make even the simplest tasks of daily life extremely difficult. Michael Sheen's protrayal of this real-life character is so engaging that students' view of persons with obvious physical disabilities will change forever. The movie will also help students reach new levels of understanding about the effects of early childhood trauma, PTSD, and overcoming a dysfunctional family. Music Within is one of the best films for Health classes relating to disabilities.
Social Studies Classes: This movie presents one of the five great advances in human rights in the U.S. during the 20th century: the movement to allow the disabled to integrate into mainstream society. It will show students that just a few years ago, disabled people could not get access to public buildings and could be discriminated against at work and in education. The movie also provides a window onto life in the last half of the 20th century.
English Language Arts Classes: Music Within is an excellent description of the human condition as experienced in America during the 20th century. It vicariously expands students' experiences and raises important questions that are great topics for persuasive essays and othe writing projects.
Since it is strong in so many areas, the film also offers strong cross-curricular benefits.
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Richard Pimentel has a mission, improving the lives of all of America's disabled people. Music Within tells about that mission..
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans, and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling we have set out below just on of three quick discussion questions from Music Within that will change students' view of persons with disabilities.
Two more mind-opening questions are provided in the Learning Guide to this film.
CHANGE THE WAY STUDENTS THINK ABOUT DISABILITY
Quick Discussion Question #1: Many disabled people refer to able-bodied people as "the temporarily able." What do they mean by this? Are you only temporarily able?
The Learning Guide to the film Music Within follows the Into, Through and Beyond format for a lesson plan. It contains an interoductory student handout, a film study worksheet for students to read before watching the movie and then to follow up with later, discussion questions and assignment. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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