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The Pirates of Penzance
SUBJECTS — World/England; Drama/Musicals;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Romantic Relationships;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility.
Age: 8+; MPAA Rating: G; Musical comedy; 1983; 112 min.; Color.
The Pirates of Penzance is a Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta in which a most unique band of pirates is shown to be more honest than so-called "respectable people." This movie is an excellent and accessible introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Pirates of Penzance shows how to use this film to reveal the foibles of the English class system as it existed in the 19th century. It will also provide an opportunity to explain the concept of leap year and the history of our present calendar system.
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The Pirates of Penzance is great fun and an excellent example of the musical form called "operetta."
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 paragraph from the Learning Guide to The Pirates of Penzance.
In the 1700s and early 1800s in England (and America), children learned a trades such as silver smithing, shoemaking, or blacksmithing by becoming an "apprentice" to a man who was an expert in the field. The child would receive food, lodging, and training in return for work. The child was said to be "indentured" to the master for a certain number of years. The indenture agreements were often in writing and frequently the term of the indenture was until the child's 21st birthday.
The Learning Guide to the film The Pirates of Penzance 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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