"Feral" is an Academy Award-nominated short film about a boy who was raised in the wilderness and is taken to live in a civilized society where tries to survive the only way he knows how. This set of standards-based lessons includes an examination of symbolism, conflict, and the identification of the Notice and Note signpost Again and Again. The lessons are a more advanced study of complex themes with a focus on conflict, character arc, motif, and symbolism.
My goal for teaching with films is to give students an understanding of theme through a very short and engaging shared text; an understanding that they can then apply to more complex written texts. Through the teaching of common themes in literature, students begin to see that themes are universal and that the themes in this film can be found in multiple texts.
The conflict and themes in this film would work really well with Tarzan of the Apes, Lord of the Flies, Passager, My Side of the Mountain, The Jungle Book, Into the Wild, and probably several other texts. I focused mostly on Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, as it is a short text that my students have most likely seen the film version of. It is also available for free online, eliminating the need for purchasing a class set of books.
The short film is 13 minutes long and is NOT included with the lesson. You can find the film on Amazon, iTunes, and possibly YouTube.