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SUBJECTS — Drama/England; World/England;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Breaking Out;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Caring.
Age: 12+; Not Rated; Comedy; 1938; 96 minutes; B & W.
Pygmalion is the source for the musical My Fair Lady. The major characters (Professor Higgins and Eliza) and the theme are the same in both. Since this is a play, watching a movie version is a very similar experience to seeing the play performed in a theater.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Pygmalion will help teachers and parents use the movie to supplement the curriculum in literature or drama classes.
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- Helpful Background
- Building Vocabulary
- Discussion Questions
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Pygmalion is the classic play on which My Fair Lady was based. It presents important lessons about class and linguistic prejudice.
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 the first two sections from the Learning Guide to Pygmalion.
Description: Professor Henry Higgins boasts to a friend that he can teach a flower girl with a thick Cockney accent to "speak like a lady." She overhears him. A few days later, she appears at his front door offering to pay for speech lessons. Pygmalion is a popular play written by George Bernard Shaw. The screenplay for the movie was also written by Shaw. The play served as the basis for the musical My Fair Lady.
Benefits: Pygmalion describes how accent can determine economic opportunity and social status. It also provides an introduction to phonetics and to the Greek myth of Pygmalion. The movie allows children to work through the romantic situations of Eliza, Higgins and Eliza's friend, Freddie. Eliza demonstrates an inner strength that will not accept the limitations of a class system that denies the intrinsic value of the individual. Higgins, immersed in his studies, is blind to most human emotions. This black and white version is appropriate for older children who are studying drama, who love My Fair Lady, or who are learning about the Greek myths.
The Learning Guide to the film Pygmalion 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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