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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
SUBJECTS — World/Mexico; Science-Technology;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Friendship;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Fairness.
Age: 12+; Not Rated; Drama; 1948; 126 minutes; B & W.
In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, two down and out American expatriates team up with an old prospector to look for gold in the mountains of Mexico's Sierra Madre. What they find surprises them and tests the limits of their humanity.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to this movie helps teachers show the crude methods of mining gold in the 19th century and the paranoia that a fortune in gold brings out in some men. The movie is a study in contrasting characters: the trustworthy Curtin and the paranoid, avaricious Dobbs. Discussion questions are provided that help bring out the traits of these characters as well as the ethical issues surrounding what should be done about the stranger who discovers the mining site and tries to blackmail the miners into making him a partner.
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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a study in greed.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can help teachers develop lesson plans we, have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
The technique used by these men for gold panning was standard throughout the gold fields. Ore would be brought out of the mine. It would be washed through a sluice so that the larger rocks and any large gold nuggets could be removed. The remaining sand would then be washed through a bowl with ridges along the side, called a "gold pan." Since the gold was heavier than the surrounding earth, it would stick to the ridges or collect at the bottom of the pan. Eventually, all of the non-gold particles would be washed away or removed and only the gold would be left along the ridges or at the bottom of the pan.
The Learning Guide to the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 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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