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SUBJECTS — Health;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Parenting;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating: PG for cultural and maternal nudity throughout; 79 Minutes, Documentary Color; 2010.
TWM Contributor Mary Red Clay wrote the following blog post about this movie.
Not long ago in my 11th grade ELA class, a student announced to all that she was, well, with child. The class responded with a mighty "ohhhhh." The sound, heard in muted chorus, could have signified a question, a moan of disappointment, a hint of disapproval or perhaps a basic "you-don't-say" response. Probably given the fact that there were nearly forty students in the room, all three feelings were communicated in that "oh."
Upon reading Mrs. Red Clay's blog post, TWM immediately requested a Learning Guide for the movie . . . and here it is.
A wonderful teaching moment should never be ignored, despite all the brouhaha about standards and lesson plans and rigid adherence to curriculum. So, of course, I brought up the film Babies, which only two of the students had seen despite its popular appeal.
Two days later, we were watching this touching and delightful look at the lives of four babies from different cultures.
The students loved it. The film generated good class discussions as well as inspired writing on cultural differences, personal reflections and opinions.
. . .
I must have gotten three or four good writing assignments out of the class; the best kind — writing that comes from solid interest in subject matter and the desire to think about and express what is on the mind, knowing you cannot be wrong in the opinions you communicate.
Teachers should view the film themselves and then possibly introduce the beauty of non-fiction to a class of any status, from remedial to honors, just to see the wonderful response.
The TWM Learning Guide to Babies contains discussion questions and writing assignments. The movie also a great reward film.
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There is no real plot in Babies but it certainly grabs your attention . . . keeps it..
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 a project from the Guide to Babies.
Ask students to do a search on the Internet to find one child rearing practice from a culture not represented in the film and to share that practice with the rest of the class. Examples of such a child rearing practices include "age villages" in some African tribes and the Kibbutz system in Israel.
The Learning Guide to the film Babies contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Discussion Questions, and Links to the Internet. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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