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The lesson plan also contains discussion questions, essay topics and other assignments.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB)August 31, 2012
"127 Hours" describes the harrowing time that hiker Aron Ralston spent trying to free himself after a shifting bolder pinned his arm against the wall of a remote slot canyon in the Utah desert. The film defines Ralston's character from his high-energy life and contrasts it to he isolation and silence that mark his five days trapped without hope of rescue. Flashbacks and clever use of video taping move the story forward and reveal important life-lessons.
Ralston’s book, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” is the best presentation of this story because it discusses the many aspects of his life and the experience of being trapped and unable to reach help. By addressing ideas presented in the book before showing the movie, the TWM lesson plan to 127 Hours allows teachers lead students to examine how an individual can call upon his past in order to maintain composure in the face of doom. The lesson plan features a Student Handout which introduces ideas from Ralston’s book that helps readers understand the young man as he gathers the courage to cut off his arm and walk away from certain death.
Journal entry assignments in the handout are designed to encourage students to exercise and extend their writing skills in response to the information given and to empathize with the attributes of character that served Ralston so well. Then, as students watch the film, they will be able to see how ideas they have considered and written about are described visually.
Below is an example of one of the entries and its related assignment:
“Later in the chapter, on page 3, Ralston mentions the many cave paintings he sees in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. He ponders what artifacts from our civilization will remain in 5,000 years. As he thinks about the peoples who left these etchings, he considers the concept of leisure time and what future generations will think of the fact that so many of us fritter away our leisure time watching television.
In your journal, make a list of objects that you think would best explain what you are like should these objects be found in the distant future. Distance yourself from these objects; describe them and the thought process that the people of the future would use in coming to conclusions about you from these objects. “
Other writing topics introduced through quotes from the book are every person’s place of special peace, that humans are powerful beings because of our capacity to boldly continue pushing forward in life despite our insignificance, pursuing passions in life, taking risks while alone, the power of music and its importance to human beings, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, dangerous situations, inspiring books and film etc.
The lesson plan also contains discussion questions, essay topics and other assignments.
TeachWithMovies.com is the premier site on the Internet showing teachers how to use feature films and other video resources to enhance the classroom experience. The site offers thousands of pages of lesson plans and curriculum materials on more than 350 feature films. The price for access to all TWM curriculum materials is $11.99 per year per teacher. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.
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Writing Lesson Plan Using 127 Hours
SUBJECTS — English Language Arts
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Surviving;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility.
Age: 14+; MPAA Rating -- Rated R for language and some disturbing violent content/bloody images (for disturbing content and some language); Drama; 2010, 94 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
Note to teachers: Students love adventure stories, especially tales about young people and most especially when the stories are true. Still, students are often reluctant to read what many times can be a long build-up to the action they crave. Aron Ralston's book is ruminative and informative in its effort to explain how he managed to survive. Most young readers will want to skim the details about his outdoor adventures, the hikes, the climbs, and the description of terrain that is mostly unfamiliar and desolate. They will want to go quickly to the moment when Ralston falls and thus skip the reflection, fear and inspiration that finally leads him to cut off his arm and free himself mere hours from certain death.
In anticipation of such reluctant readers, this lesson plan uses valuable information that Ralston conveys in his book to inform a more thorough understanding of the film. Ralston's self-examination and the philosophical journey he experiences during his 127 hours of entrapment deepen the message conveyed in the movie and may provoke some students to read the book itself.
If administrators or parents balk at screening the film at school, or if there is no available class time, take advantage of the fact that most kids will have seen the movie and that, for those who haven't, Ralston's story can be described in a few short sentences. Thus, the description of the chapters and the assignments in the Student Handout can be benefit to students who do not watch the film.
Description of the Movie: Adapted from Aron Ralston's book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, this 127 Hours details the harrowing time Ralston spent trying to free himself after a shifting bolder pinned his arm against the wall of a remote slot canyon in the Utah desert. The film's high energy beginning defines Ralston's character and is in stark contrast to the isolation and silence that mark the young outdoorsman's time trapped without hope of rescue. Flashbacks and clever use of video taping move the story forward and reveal important life-lessons.
Rationale for Using the Movie By addressing ideas presented in the book before showing the movie, students will be led to examine how an individual can call upon his past in order to maintain composure in the face of doom. Each reference to one of Ralston's chapters described in the Student Handout introduces an idea that helps readers understand the young man who gathers the courage to cut off his arm and walk away from certain death. Suggested assignments are designed to encourage students to write freely in response to the information given and to empathize with the attributes of character that served Ralston so well. Then, as students watch the film, they will be able to see how ideas they have considered and written about are described visually.
Objectives/Student Outcomes Using this Learning Guide: Students will exercise their writing skills on a subject that interests them. They will consider and discuss the values that enabled Ralston to survive his ordeal.
Possible Problems: Any fear associated with confinement can be exacerbated by watching this film. The scene in which Aron frees himself by breaking bones and cutting through flesh is graphic and medically accurate. It may be disturbing to some students.
LESSON PLAN: USING 127 HOURS IN A CLASSROOM SETTING
1. Review the film to make sure it is suitable for the class. Obtain appropriate administrative or parental approval.
2. Read the Student Handout set out below and select chapter summaries and assignments suitable for the class. Modify or delete sections as appropriate. For a version of the handout in word processing format, click here. Students may not have had each of the experiences referred to in the prompts for the journal entries. One way to address this is to let them pick five or six to which they can respond. Print and copy the modified handout.
3. The lesson plan suggests that the teacher or a student who is a good reader or who is interested in drama read a quote from The Odyssey out loud to the class. If this task is assigned to a student, give the student advance warning and a copy of the passage so that he or she can practice.
Presentation of the Lesson
1. Ask if any student has seen the film and select one to introduce it to the class. When that student has finished, ask if anyone has something to add. If none of the students have seen the movie, then provide a short description of Ralston's experience. An example is set out below:
This film is about a young man, an expert hiker, who went out alone to a remote area in the Utah desert. He didn't tell anyone where he was going. As he walked down a slot canyon, which is a deep narrow rift in the earth with steep rock walls on either side, his path was blocked by a large boulder. When Ralston tried to climb over the boulder it shifted and pinned his arm against the wall of the canyon. Ralston couldn't get out and he couldn't get help. He spent five days trapped between the boulder and the canyon wall. For much of the time Ralston thought he would die. He had a movie camera with him and recorded his good-bys to family and friends. After five days, Ralston discovered a way to break the bones in his arm. In a last ditch effort to survive, he cut away his flesh until he had severed his arm from the rest of his body. Ralston then stumbled out of the canyon and fortunately encountered a family that was hiking on a nearby trail. When he saw the family, Ralston collapsed. Help was summoned and Ralston was air-lifted to a hospital.2. Tell students that:
- In the front of his book, before he starts to describe himself and his experiences, Ralston quotes three verses from Homer's The Odyssey; this is the passage in which the enchantress Circe describes the dangers that Odysseus and his crew will face after they leave her island;
- Through these verses Ralston describes the risk of adventure, preparing the reader for the idea that there are people who love adventure for the sake of adventure itself.
3. Describe the journal assignment.
4. Distribute the student handout that you have reviewed and that you may have modified.
5. Have students read the handout and complete the assigned journal entries at the end of each chapter either as in-class work or as homework.
6. Show the film without interruption or chunked.
7. Use the discussion questions and/or some of the journal topics to stimulate class discussion.
8. Assign a summative essay at the end of the discussion.
9. Collect the journal entries and the essays.