Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teaching Virtues With Movies

   Sometimes it is difficult to teach a particular lesson to our children.  Or, alternatively, we are teaching a lesson and need a way to reinforce the lesson.  Movies can be a wonderful tool to  use strategically.  There were many times when raising my own children that I would select a movie because of the message it conveyed.  If you are trying to instill courage or honesty, listening, or the effects of bullying, for example, there are wonderful movies you can watch with your children.  

    Simply providing these movies may not be enough.  Try watching the movies with them and discussing the principles either during or afterwards.  Relate the ideas to their lives.  A wonderful series is Adventures From the Book of Virtues.  The show was on PBS for four seasons and the episodes may be purchased as boxed sets. It is particularly appropriate for young children. 

     Some specific movies that depict life lessons are:
  • Honesty -- Liar Liar, Pinnochio
  • Integrity -- 12 Angry Men, Apollo 13
  • Bullying -- Big Bully, Mean Girls, The Karate Kid
  • Friendship -- Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Jungle Book, The Sandlot, The Wizard of Oz, Pete’s Dragon
  • Loyalty -- Shrek, Brave Little Toaster, Angels in the Outfield, It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Resilience -- Soul Surfer, Cast Away, Clash of the Titans, James and The Giant Peach, The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Giftedness -- August Rush, Finding Forrester, Harriet the Spy, Matilda, Little Man Tate, October Sky, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Rain Man
  • Individualism -- The Incredibles, Star Wars, Mulan
  • Free Will -- Babe, Racing Stripes
  • Respect -- Ladybugs, A Bug’s Life, Around the World in 80 Days, High School Musical, Remember the Titans
  • Courage -- The Diary of Ann Frank, The Red Badge of Courage
  • Leadership -- Cool Runnings, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Chronicles of Narnia, 101 Dalmations, Madagascar
  • Patience -- The Karate Kid, Are We There Yet?, 
  • Generosity -- It’s a Wonderful Life, 
  • Responsibility -- The Lion King, Old Yeller, The Rookie, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Yearling
  • Persistence -- The Miracle Worker, Where the Red Fern Grows

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