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SUBJECTS — Literature; — Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1939 - 1945 & New York;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Parenting; Father/Son; Friendship; Breaking Out;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect; Caring.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating -- Not Rated; Drama; 1962; 119 minutes; Black and White.
The book is often assigned reading in high school ELA classes. The movie is a well acted and carefully written production which covers most of the characters, conflicts, and themes of Chaim Potok's award-winning best seller. Both novel and film explore basic human values of interest to teenagers.
The movie is best viewed after the book has been read. Through comparison, students can learn how literary techniques such as symbolism, motif and imagery are applied to film. Moreover, students can begin to develop respect for visual media as a serious art form and increase their critical viewing skills. See TWM's essay on Lesson Plans Using Film Adaptations of Novels, Short Stories or Plays .
Viewed without reading the book, the movie provides ELA teachers considerable opportunity for assignments requiring research and argumentation as well as literary analysis. The Learning Guide to The Chosen presents discussion questions and exercises through which the literary devices of theme, characterization, and irony can be taught to students.
TeachWithMovies.com's Movie Lesson Plans and Learning Guides are used by thousands of teachers to motivate students. They provide background and discussion questions that lead to fascinating classes. Parents can use them to supplement what their children learn in school.
Each film recommended by TeachWithMovies.com contains lessons on life and positive moral messages. Our Guides and Lesson Plans show teachers how to stress these messages and make them meaningful for young audiences.
Some snippets simply provide film and Internet resources to supplement lesson plans. Others are complete lesson plans with introductions, handouts, discussion questions, and summative assessments.
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More suggestions about the beneficial use of movies to supplement curricula are added on a regular basis!
For social studies classes: The Chosen introduces the Hasidic sect of orthodox Judaism in a way that is sympathetic. However, the film clearly shows the differences between the Hasidim and modern Western culture in arranged marriages, strongly patriarchal family structures, separation of the sexes, antique dress, and focus on Talmudic studies. The movie makes clear the conflicts faced by American Jewry in the aftermath of the Holocaust and some of the arguments for and against the establishment of the state of Israel. Note that this Learning Guide focuses on the use of the movie in ELA classes.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below the Quick Discussion Question from the Learning Guide to The Chosen.
QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION: Danny was troubled by the fact that at the baseball game he hated Reuven and wanted to hit him with the baseball. Why did Danny hate Reuven so much when he faced him on the baseball diamond?
Suggested Response: Often, two groups of people who are close in their beliefs but opposed to one another will have bitter disputes. Danny could have hated Reuven because he saw in Reuven part of what he wanted to be, an Orthodox Jew who was not Hasidic, not forced by family tradition to become a Hasidic Rabbi, and a person who could experience the wider world. Danny could also have been angry at Reuven because Reuven had just made a good play against Danny's team.
The Learning Guide to the film The Chosen 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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