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The Scarlet Letter
SUBJECTS — U.S./1629 - 1750 & Massachusetts; Christianity;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Redemption;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility.
Age: 12+; Not Rated (but suitable for ages 12 and up); Drama; 1979; 300 minutes; Color. (Teachwithmovies.com does not recommend the 1995 version starring Demi Moore.)
This movie is a faithful rendering of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel of adultery, punishment, guilt, hypocrisy, and revenge in colonial New England. The book and the film are an excellent introduction to the Puritans and their effect on our society. Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter is not easy reading. This film is so true to the text that it can serve as a substitute for reading the book for those children who do not have adequate reading skills. For children who read the novel, the movie can serve as a reward, although it is quite long. Watching the film will confirm and extend their understanding of the story and the insights contained in the novel.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Scarlet Letter is intended to help teachers prepare a lesson plan for either the book or the film. The Guide will help teachers lead students in an exploration of questions concerning good, evil, sin, virtue, repentance, confession, and revenge. It will aid teachers in introducing Puritan society and the Puritan ethic.
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The Scarlet Letter is an American classic which is often assigned by teachers in high school.
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 Scarlet Letter.
The Puritans believed that man was inherently sinful and corrupt. Rescue from damnation was only by arbitrary divine grace. For Puritans, man was duty-bound to do God's will, which he could understand best by studying the Bible and the universe which God had created. For Puritans, the source of all religious authority lay in the Scripture itself, which was to be studied by all members of the congregation. Because of the importance of preaching and finding guidance from interpretation of the Scripture, the Puritans respected learned ministers.
The Learning Guide to the film The Scarlet Letter 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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