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Bean Cake: Short Film Activity → Editable files! Bean Cake is a twelve-minute film that tackles Japanese emperor worship and its impact on individual choice. The star of the film is a young Japanese boy who, when questioned by the teacher, says that bean cakes are his favorite--he refuses to change his answer to "the Emperor" despite his teacher's punishments. This film is in Japanese with subtitles. There are a few funny parts, and students really enjoy the film's theme--"the individual vs. society."
This activity is one I've done with my class many times. I've included a teacher lesson plan for you, and a student handout to guide students through the lesson. Students use a QR code to review some aspects of Japanese emperor worship before they view Bean Cake. They also work together in small groups with roles to create a poster on an assigned topic related to the film. Later in class, they present their posters to their peers, who take notes during the presentations.
This lesson is great for EOC or state test practice because the topics include objective summary, character, plot, conflict, setting, theme, cultural experience in literature, and comparison/contrast. If you are working with Japan, World literature in general, or just trying to add some variety to your classroom text selections, you will have a lot of fun with this lesson!