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The Joy Luck Club
SUBJECTS — U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & California; World/China;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Mother/Daughter; Surviving;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Caring.
Age: 14+; Rated R; Drama; 1993; 136 minutes; Color.
This movie is based on the bestseller written by Amy Tan describing the experiences of four women who emigrated from China to the United States. Each woman's story contains horrendous experiences in China and shows how those experiences affected their relationships with their American-born daughters.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Joy Luck Club will help teachers and parents using this film to show the culture and history of China in the first half of the 20th century focusing on the mistreatment of women. The Learning Guide will also facilitate an exploration of the relationships between Asian-American women and their mothers and relationships between girls and their mothers generally.
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The Joy Luck Club is a story of Chinese-American assimilation.
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 Learning Guide to The Joy Luck Club.
China was ruled from 1644 - 1911 by the Quing (also called Manchu) dynasty. In the 1800s and early 1900s, China was in decline, wracked by civil war and under pressure from the West and the Japanese. The Western powers (Britain, France and the United States) forced China to grant them trading concessions and privileged status. The British, seeking a way to pay for the tea that they purchased from China, sought to create a market for opium in China by addicting large numbers of Chinese to the drug. With opium addiction growing, the Manchus seized and destroyed opium owned by the British resulting in the Opium War of 1839 - 1843. The Chinese lost the war and were forced to open China to the opium trade, pay reparations, open ports to British trade, cede Hong Kong and give British citizens in China the right to be tried in British Courts. There was another war over trading rights in 1856 - 1860.
The Learning Guide to the film The Joy Luck Club 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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