TWM does not provide the movies . . .
We provide curriculum materials for teachers.
- Snippet Lesson Plans,
- Movie Lesson Plans,
- Movie Learning Guides,
- Standard questions to use
with any movie,
- Standard assignments to
use with any movie,
- a Film Study Worksheet,
- and much more!!
Already a Member? Login Here
The Pursuit of Happyness
SUBJECTS — U.S. 1991 - present and Biography;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Father/Son; Parenting;
Surviving, Work/Career; with the student handout
"Episodes in the Life of Chris Gardner (What's Not in
the Movie)" add: Alcohol & Drug Abuse; Breaking Out; Spousal
Abuse; Child Abuse; Education; Male Role Model; Ambition;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Caring.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating -- PG-13 for some language; Drama; 2006; 117 minutes; Color.
In this movie, an African-American man, abandoned by his father as an infant, vows that he will always be present in the life of his child. Caught in a perfect storm of bad luck, he becomes homeless. However, he manages to take care of his son while pursuing a highly competitive unpaid internship as a stockbroker. The film was "inspired by" events in the life of Christopher Gardner, who was once homeless but who is now a wealthy stockbroker, as well as a proud father.
This movie shows an example of a black man being committed to his child. The other important lesson from the life of Chris Gardner is not shown in the movie but is clearly brought out in the student handout that accompanies the Learning Guide. The life of Chris Gardner shows that a child who has been physically abused is not doomed to abuse his own children and that a boy who sees his mother repeatedly beaten by her husband can decide not to treat the women in his life in the same way. Chris Gardner, having been repeatedly beaten by his step-father and having seen his mother beaten as well, decided to "go the other way." He learned what not to do by this step-father's example.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to this film will show teachers how to bring out this important and useful lesson.
In addition, the Learning Guide to the movie will assist in teaching children about:
(1) the liberties with the facts that can be taken by filmmakers in movies "inspired by a true story;"
(2) how the filmmakers, in search of a dramatic story line, ignored Mr. Gardner's most important achievement;
(3) the victimization of the homeless by criminals;
(4) how movies can gloss over troubling ethical questions raised by the "true story;" and
(5) how "feel good" movies often feature Cinderella stories of extraordinary good fortune which, given the economic structure of our society, are unrealistic for all but one in a million.
TeachWithMovies.com has prepared an 18-page handout entitled "Episodes in the Life of Chris Gardner (What's Not in the Movie)." This provides fascinating information about the life of Chris Gardner and the many life lessons that can be derived from his story. It is designed as a reading exercise that will interest students. The Learning Guide also provides a handout and short quiz on homelessness in the U.S. With the handouts, the quiz, and the Discussion Questions, teachers and parents can turn The Pursuit of Happyness into an excellent learning experience.
TeachWithMovies.com's Movie Lesson Plans and Learning Guides are used by thousands of teachers to motivate students. They provide background and discussion questions that lead to fascinating classes. Parents can use them to supplement what their children learn in school.
Each film recommended by TeachWithMovies.com contains lessons on life and positive moral messages. Our Guides and Lesson Plans show teachers how to stress these messages and make them meaningful for young audiences.
Some snippets simply provide film and Internet resources to supplement lesson plans. Others are complete lesson plans with introductions, handouts, discussion questions, and summative assessments.
Each TWM Snippet Lesson Plan Contains:
- Learner Outcomes/Objectives
- Step-by-Step Instructions
Learning Guides help teachers develop or improve their own lesson plans. Many also feature introductions, handouts, and summative assessments.
Learning Guides Feature the Following Sections:
- Possible Problems
- Helpful Background
- Building Vocabulary
- Discussion Questions
- Links to Internet
- Bridges to Reading
- Assignments & Projects
$1 per month ($11.99 per year) for
Lesson Plans and Learning Guides to hundreds of films.
SUPPLEMENT SCHOOL CURRICULUM!
PROMOTE SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING!
More suggestions about the beneficial use of movies to supplement curricula are added on a regular basis!
The Pursuit of Happyness will help children get over a visceral negative reaction to the homeless and teach important lessons in social-emotional learning.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to help develop lesson plans, we have set out below a section of the Guide entitled "Suggestions for Using The Pursuit of Happyness in a Classroom Setting."
TWM suggests showing the movie when a substitute will be handling the class or at a natural break in the curriculum. The handout "Homelessness in America -- The Facts, The Causes and a Call to Action" (2.5 pages) should be assigned as homework before the movie is shown. The "Short Quiz on Homelessness" can be given any time after the class has read the handout.
The handout "Episodes in the Life of Chris Gardner (What's Not in the Movie)" should be distributed and assigned as homework after the class has finished watching the film. Teachers should review the vocabulary and terms that students might not know before assigning the handout. See "Building Vocabulary" and "Cultural and Geographic References . . . ." Consider assigning additional work with the handout such as outlining it, highlighting it, writing a short essay, or making a list of vocabulary words the kids don't know with the definitions they have looked up.
Select the Discussion Questions that will be helpful to the class. Media Literacy Questions 2 and 5, as well as Homelessness Questions 1 - 5, serve well before students read "Episodes in the Life of Chris Gardner (What's Not in the Movie)." The remaining Discussion Questions are designed for use after the class has read the longer handout. A number of essay topics are also suggested. See Projects and Activites.
The Learning Guide to the film The Pursuit of Happyness 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 create a great lesson plan from The Pursuit of Happyness.
Already a Member? Login Here