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Additional Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)

Other Sections:
      Links to the Internet
      Selected Awards & Cast

Go to the Learning Guide for this film.

Additional Discussion Questions

Continued from the Learning Guide . . .

4.  Are human societies most likely to defend animals when there is no cost? Look at Spain which maintains a barbaric tradition, the bullfight, but which was the first country to adopt the Great Ape Protection Act. Suggested Response: There is no one correct answer.

Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions


    See discussion questions 1 - 3 in the Guide.


1.   Richard O'Barry, the dolphin trainer shown in the movie, underwent a complete change and personal transformation from a man who trapped and caught wild dolphins and then trained them to a man who campaigned for protection and freedom for dolphins. Do you know anyone else or have you heard of anyone else who has undergone such a major change in their attitudes? Suggested Response: There is no one correct response.

Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)
(TeachWithMovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner"
and  uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical


(Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule; Be tolerant of differences; Use good manners, not bad language; Be considerate of the feelings of others; Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone; Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements)

1.   This film shows a conflict between respect for dolphins and respect for the customs of a Japanese community. How do you resolve that conflict? Suggested Response: TWM submits that when our values conflict we look to the Rule of the Most Honoring Choice which instructs us to "choose the alternative which honors the most important long term values for the most stakeholders (people, animals, the environment), giving reasonable priority to the stakeholders to whom we owe duties of obligation or loyalty." Any response which makes an honest attempt to resolve these conflicting values is acceptable.

See also discussion questions 1 and 2 in the Learning Guide and Discussion Questions which Explore Ethical Issues Raised by Any Film.

Additional Assignments

Continued from the Learning Guide . . .

4.  Research the successful effort during the 20th century, led by Westerners, to ban the practice of binding the feet of Chinese women. Compare it to the efforts to ban the enslavement and slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fishermen. Does the success of the anti-foot-binding campaign suggest some new tactics in the effort to ban the massacre of dolphins in the Taiji cove?

Links to the Internet

Common Core State Standards that can be Served by this Learning Guide
(Anchor Standards only)

Multimedia: Anchor Standard #7 for Reading (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). (The three Anchor Standards read: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media, including visually and quantitatively as well as in words.") CCSS pp. 35 & 60. See also Anchor Standard # 2 for ELA Speaking and Listening, CCSS pg. 48.

Writing: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 4, and 7 - 10 for Writing and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 41,& 63.

Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 3 (for ELA classes). CCSS pg. 48.

Not all assignments reach all Anchor Standards. Teachers are encouraged to review the specific standards to make sure that over the term all standards are met.

Selected Awards, Cast and Director

Selected Awards: 2010 Academy Awards: Best Documentary.

Featured Persons: Richard O'Barry, Simon Hutchins, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Kirk Krack David Rastovich, Scott Baker, Louis Psihoyos, Greg Mooney.

Director: Louis Psihoyos.


In addition to websites which may be linked in the Guide and selected film reviews listed on the Movie Review Query Engine, the following resources were consulted in the preparation of this Learning Guide:

  • Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer, 1975.
  • The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health by T. Collin Campbell (Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University) and Thomas M. Campbell, II, 2005.

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