Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.
Thanks for the wings!
Thus (nearly) ends the beloved holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life" - a film that tells the story of George Bailey and the many people whose lives he touches by his innate desire to put family and friends above personal wants and human dignity above profit.
In my humble opinion (as I'm sure I've mentioned before), this is the greatest holiday classic movie of all time, so I thought it would be worthwhile to show this movie to my 6th grade students (especially since most of them had never seen it before). However, seeing as I only see each period for 40-45 minutes a day, I couldn't reconcile giving up valuable teaching time to watch a movie just for the sake of watching a movie. (On a side note - when I taught 4th grade, I didn't have any problem simply putting in a movie, as in a self-contained classroom, I saw them all day and the poor dears were restless by the end of most days leading up to Christmas break.) So, I had to find (or create) a bridge between the movie and our latest unit, which focused (at least in part) on moral decision-making.
Well, George and the other characters surely make a lot of decisions throughout the course of the movie - from saving Harry's life to not delivering the pills from Mr. Gower to sending Harry to school instead of himself so as to run the family business...the list of decisions (good and bad) goes on and on.
|This is about how I felt when I figured out the connection|
I would have the students apply the three components of moral decision-making that we learned about to the scenarios/decisions in the movie. So, the weekend before that last week before break, I crafted the assessment & rubric.
But overall, I think the kiddos did a nice job. Here's an excerpt from one student's essay:
"...When George Bailey jumped into the river to save Clarence, his object was jumping into the river...his intention was to save Clarence, and the circumstances were George Bailey was on the bridge at night with freezing water. Since saving Clarence was good in all three elements, the moral decision was good..."