Intentional Parenting Family Movies
SAMPLE GUIDE TO Talking and Playing for Growth with . . .
Moral-Ethical Emphasis — Responsibility; Respect; Caring.
At a Glance — Age: 5 - 8; MPAA Rating -- G; Animated Drama; 2003; 100 minutes; Color.
For children 8 - 12 and for information relating to coral reefs and the fish shown in the movie, see the Learning Guide to this film.
Description — Nemo, a young clown fish, strays from the safety of his anemone on the Great Barrier Reef and is captured by a diver. Placed in a dentist's aquarium in an office with an ocean view, he finds a group of fish with an escape plan. Meanwhile, Nemo's father searches for his son, meeting a number of ocean creatures along the way.
Every Guide to Talking and Playing With Movies contains film-related discussion prompts, games, and a short story related to the themes of the film.
Each Guide helps parents and teachers use family movies to enhance verbal development, increase social-emotional learning, and foster character education.
Benefits of the Movie — This movie is entertaining and touching for both children and adults. "Finding Nemo" can be used to jump start the natural interest that children have in ocean life, coral reefs, and marine biology. It also teaches lessons about friendship, obeying parents, and avoiding dangerous situations.
Possible Problems — A scene showing an intense shark chase may frighten younger viewers. Fast forward through this scene if necessary.
For more suggestions about how intentional parents can use family movies to foster verbal, social and emotional learning and teach lessons in character education, see Ideas for Talking and Playing Using Family Movies. For Talking and Playing Guides to more movies, click here.
New Words: clown fish, sea turtle, shark, coral reef, octopus, blowfish, pelican, crab, seagull, jellyfish, diver, scuba, boat, journey, dentist, tank, ocean, anemone, Australia, whale.
TALKING FOR VERBAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENTCONVERSATION STARTERS
Which character was your favorite? — If you could have any of the characters in the movie as a friend, which would you choose? — Why is that?
Always encourage your child to form opinions and to share them.How did Nemo escape from the aquarium?
Just talking with your child fosters verbal, social and emotional learning.Name some of the creatures Marlin met on his journey.
Young children love Story Time.
DISCUSSIONS BASED ON THEMES IN THE MOVIE
Select questions appropriate for your child.
When a parent takes a concept from the movie seriously, a child will start thinking about the lessons of the film. Often, it only takes one comment to start a child's mind going.2. Name some of the characters in the movie who worked together and by working together were able to do something that they could not do alone. Talking About It — When Marlin is looking for Nemo, he gets help from Dory and he is also helped by Nigel (the pelican) and Crush and Squirt (the sea turtles). Without their help he could never have found his son. Nemo's escape from the aquarium is a joint effort with all of his friends in the tank. Nemo returns the favor by helping them to escape.
You can talk about a movie at any time: right after it is over, in the car on the way to school, during quiet time, or before bed.
Don't feel compelled to cover everything in this Guide. One or two questions are all that some children will tolerate. However, if your child watches the movie more than once, on each occasion start a new conversation or pick a new activity. This will enhance verbal development and increase the number of lessons your child takes from the film.4. Nemo was born with one fin that looks different from his other fin. He calls it his "lucky fin". Dory has a memory problem and forgets things that have just happened. In the real world, some people might call these things "disabilities". Talking About It — Lots of kids might look or talk differently than us, but they are still kids and can still be our friends. It's important to treat everyone with respect and kindness no matter who they are. How would we want to be treated if we were they?
The Golden Rule is basic to morality and ethics. Here is a modern formulation of the Rule. Have your child memorize this or another version. Repeat it to your child often when a decision about how to act must be made: "In every situation, act toward others in the same way that you would want others to act toward you." Show your child how to apply it in his or her own life. Let your child see you apply the Rule in decisions that you make.
PLAYING FOR GROWTH
2. Play "Finding Nemo" — This is like the game "Marco Polo". Have your child hide somewhere in the yard, or in the house. Call out "Finding!" and have him or her respond "Nemo". Then switch roles. See who can find the other the fastest. (For another twist to the game, your child can move about within a defined area as you search for him or her with your eyes closed. This works best in a large, open area, like a yard or park. You can also play this game in a swimming pool, as you would play "Marco Polo".)
3. Water Wonders — If you are near to a lake, ocean or river, pay a visit. Pack a picnic, and together with your child, explore the water world. Look for crabs, shells, driftwood, clams or fish. Bring along a waterproof disposable camera, and let your child take all of the pictures of the creatures he or she finds. Because it's waterproof, he or she can even hop into the water and snap some photos!
4. Visit some web sites about marine life — Go to MarineBio Kids site or this Marine and Maritime site for some kid-friendly ideas. Ask your child about his or her favorite fish or creature, and talk about yours. Find pictures together and compare them.
Stories are essential tools for verbal development, social-emotional learning, and character education. Intentional parents can use family movies as a basis for storytelling.
Repeat the story of the movie at bedtime, on a rainy day, or at any quiet time. Let your child correct you if you make a mistake and, better yet, encourage your child tell you the story. Both of you can invent new adventures for Nemo and his friends. Your child's imaginative and verbal capacities will be enhanced if you invent new characters and create situations that are not in the movie. To learn more about enhancing growth and development through stories told to children, go to How to Tell Bedtime Stories . . . Any Time.
Here is a bedtime story that you can read to your child.
Hi. My name is Johnny. This story is about my first day back at school after Christmas vacation. There was a lot of trouble that day, and, wouldn't you know it, the trouble started because of a girl.
Bridges to Reading — There are thousands of books on fish and the ocean, for all reading levels. Visit your local library. Books can be read aloud to children or advanced readers can read the books themselves. We suggest the following: Coral Reef Animals by Francine Galko, 2003, part of the Animals in their Habitats series; It Could Still Be Coral by Allan Fowler, 1996, part of the Rookie Read About Science series; Fish Wish by Bob Barner, 2000; Coral Reef Hunters by Erica Ethan and Marie Bearanger, 1997, part of the Colors of the Sea series; Old Shell, New Shell by Helen Ward, 2002; Corals by Lynn M. Stone, 2003, part of the Science Under the Sea Series, this book contains an excellent description of coral as a species; Coral Reefs by Sylvia Earle, published by National Geographic and illustrated by Bonnie Matthews, is an excellent introduction to life on a coral reef.
Talking and playing based on family movies is an excellent way to enhance verbal skills and foster social and emotional learning. It's also a great opportunity for character education and increases communication between parent and child. When fathers and mothers take the time to make entertainment an engine for their child's growth and development, they are practicing intentional parenting at its best.
For Learning Guides which help teachers and parents use feature movies to supplement curriculum for K-12, foster social-emotional learning and teach ethics, go to TeachWithMovies.com. For more Talking and Playing Guides to popular movies for children 3 - 8, go to the Talking and Playing Home Page. To learn about the authors, click here.
So long as no fee is charged and credit is given to TeachWithMovies.com, Inc., any portion of this Guide, or the Guide in its entirety, may be printed or reproduced for distribution to parents or teachers. © 2007 & 2009 by TeachWithMovies.com, Inc. "Talking and Playing with Movies" and the pencil filmstrip logo are trademarks of TeachWithMovies.com, Inc. This web page was written by James Frieden and Lauren Humphrey. This Guide last revised on September 1, 2009.