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The Bridge to Terabithia
SUBJECTS — Literature/U.S.; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Virginia;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Friendship; Grieving;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Caring.
Age: 10-13; MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language; 2007, Drama; 96 minutes; Color.
This film is an excellent adaptation of the award-winning children's novel by Katherine Patterson. The book has become an important part of elementary school curriculum since its publication in 1977. The film remains faithful to the characterization and themes in the novel. As almost always, the movie should be watched only after the book has been read. See TWM's Lesson Plans Using Film Adaptations of Novels, Short Stories or Plays. This Learning Guide will be helpful in teaching the book as well as the movie.
Students who have read the novel will enjoy seeing the images that Patterson creates in her writing appear on screen. From this they can learn about how ideas are shown rather than told. The TWM Learning Guide to Bridge to Terabithia contains discussion questions that will assist teachers and parents in using the film to repeat and confirm lessons based on the book. Jess' bridge to Terabithia is of great value as a template for a healthy way to deal with a catastrophic loss. Two comments by the author, quoted in the Helpful Background section of the Guide will teach important lessons about the origins of many fictional works and the process of writing fiction.
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Bridge to Terabithia is a staple of the elementary school curriculum.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Helpful Background section of the Learning Guide to Bridge to Terabithia.
Young people can suffer terribly from the death of a loved one or even from a death of someone they know only on a superficial level. A celebrity's death or the death of a character in a film, human or animal, can trigger a grief response in a child who cares deeply about the individual who has died or who harbors fear of losing someone he or she loves. Grieving is a part of the human experience; if one lives long enough or well enough, eventually they will suffer from grief. For children, unresolved grief can be especially disturbing and the consequences can last a lifetime.
The Learning Guide to the film The Bridge to Terabithia 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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