Film Studies and Challenging Non-Fiction Essay: Hoop Dreams Mini Unit

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“Hoop Dreams” was named by Roger Ebert “the great American documentary.”

In his lyrical essay on the movie John Edgar Wideman called it “one of the most insightful, accurate, affecting, least sentimental, least propagandized treatments of Afro-American family life I’d ever seen.”

Although the film is about basketball—it is also not really about basketball. It is about so much more; it is about anyone’s pursuit of a dream. The filmmakers followed two boys from the inner city for six years of their lives, documenting their struggles, heartbreak, and triumphs.

This engaging film adds a new voice to the discussion of the American dream.

Included in this packet are questions for thought and discussion on the film, questions for close reading on John Edgar Wideman’s essay “Hoop Dreams: Serious Game,” as well as prompts for a group discussion on the film. In all, six days worth of class time including the film.

Questions on the film get students thinking and discussing the film’s complex ideas. Questions on “Serious Game” take students through a close reading of a short but challenging non-fiction piece. And the prompts for group discussion will bring all of that work together in a small-group activity.

Want an even more in-depth study of the American dream? Want to integrate poetry and non-fiction into your unit? Want a guide for holding a graded discussion, a full unit schedule, a summative essay prompt, and a graphic organizer for that prompt? Want to save money too?

Check out this product: Thematic Unit: The American Dream in Film, Poetry, and Non-fiction
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Total Pages
14
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
1 Week

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Film Studies and Challenging Non-Fiction Essay: Hoop Dream
Film Studies and Challenging Non-Fiction Essay: Hoop Dream
Film Studies and Challenging Non-Fiction Essay: Hoop Dream
Film Studies and Challenging Non-Fiction Essay: Hoop Dream
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