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SUBJECTS — U.S./1913 - 1945;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Courage, Disabilities;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Caring.
Age: 12+; No MPAA rating but we think it would probably be rated PG; Drama; 2005; 120 minutes; Color.
This film describes Franklin D. Roosevelt's struggle against the effects of polio and his leadership in the development of a convalescent community at Warm Springs, Georgia. It shows an important stage in the development of his character. The movie highlights the innovations, mostly psychological, in treatment for the disabled that Roosevelt pioneered at Warm Springs.
Warm Springs supplemented by this Learning Guide will: (1) acquaint students with the most important U.S. President of the 20th century; (2) demonstrate how FDR's disability helped strengthen his character and gave him empathy for the suffering of others; and (3) enhance learning about Roosevelt's policies to combat the Great Depression by suggesting interesting parallels between the New Deal and the therapeutic community that Roosevelt helped construct at Warm Springs. The film is well researched and in many respects historically accurate. Like all historical fiction, it takes dramatic liberties by telescoping many events into one or mixing up the time sequence. However, with the two exceptions [described in the Helpfuld Background section of the Learning Guide], the movie is a reasonably accurate portrayal of the events that occurred from 1921 to 1928. It shows how FDR tried and failed to regain the ability to walk but discovered something more valuable within himself.
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Warm Springs provides a visual presentation of the personal side of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
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 one of the discussion questions from the Learning Guide to Warm Springs.
QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION: In the 1920s, U.S. society relegated people who were paralyzed to the back room and assumed that they would live quiet, retired lives. What was FDR's reaction to these limitations?
Suggested Response: He fought against them and never succumbed to them. First, he worked very hard over many years to try to walk again. Second, he established a rehabilitation center and community of disabled people at Warm Springs. He developed new treatments and pioneered new attitudes toward the disabled. Third, he lived his life to the fullest, serving as governor of New York and President of the United States.
The Learning Guide to the film Warm Springs 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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