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Film study guide
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a fantastic film. It is always a class favorite and a great introduction to philosophy. It is a helpful way to engage students in higher order thinking. See below on how the film works with the Velveteen Rabbit and Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard.
Teaching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind alongside Eloisa to Abelard is a great activity for Valentine's Day!
INCLUDED IN THIS UNIT ARE THE FOLLOWING:
➢ A test with eight multiple-choice questions (with answers) and two long answer questions.
➢ Fifteen essay/discussion questions; three questions are aligned with the following:
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
• CCS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
➢ Two essay questions that compare the film to philosophy with the links to these works of philosophy.
➢ Information on The Velveteen Rabbit (I’ve also included a PDF copy of The Velveteen Rabbit in the zip file as a separate document so that you can photocopy it for your students or send it to your students and have them print it. It is available online and is in the public domain)
➢ A scene from the script that is cut from the film (it mentions The Velveteen Rabbit).
➢ A small section from the Velveteen Rabbit (that raises interesting philosophical questions) is cut and pasted along with questions related to this passage – these same questions are raised in the film (this page is from my free unit).
➢ The title of the film is taken from Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard lines 207-210:
How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d
➢ The entire poem Eloisa to Abelard is included; the poem is added at the end of the lesson for convenience. There are a few images that go along with the poem. The poem is in the public domain.
➢ Summary from IMDBPro. There are wonderful images from the film that are included here.
I use films as a way to introduce students to philosophy. I put a copy of the film in the library on reserve and my students are able to take the copy out for four hours at a time; they watch the film on their own time as a form of homework (one they usually enjoy). Students love talking about movies!
I teach ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND as a TEXTURE TEXT or a CONTEXT TEXT usually alongside THE THEAETETUS; THE REPUBLIC; or THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA. It is an excellent film to use when studying philosophical concepts including, but not limited to, the following: morality, ethics, knowledge, reality, freedom, and memory.
• VISUAL NOTETAKING LECTURE SERIES (PLATO'S THEAETETUS)
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Higher Order Thinking Skills for High School students
The Great Books
Plato's Republic (small extract only)
Critical Reading and Writing
HIGH SCHOOL HOTS!
This is a self-contained unit on higher order thinking skills/textual analysis. Everything you need is here.
MOVE AWAY FROM GENERIC QUESTIONS AND INTO TEXT-BASED ASSIGNMENTS WITH THIS UNIT ON CRITICAL THINKING, READING, AND WRITING
You don’t need to teach entire works, just short excerpts of the Great Books, to engage students in complex, higher-order thinking and other skills deemed essential in the new CCSS guidelines.
INCLUDED IN THIS UNIT ARE THE FOLLOWING:
➢ A small excerpt from Plato’s Republic. This excerpt is a separate PDF in the zip file so that you can send it to your students to print if necessary. It is 10 pages long and includes line numbers.
➢ CCSS information on text complexity.
➢ Suggestions on how to read the text at different levels. For instance, using Bloom’s Taxonomy, the majority of questions ask for comprehension, understanding and application. However, I have included questions of a much higher order: analysis, judgment, and evaluation.
➢ Everything you’ll need to teach this section of the Republic is here, so it is ready to go for you or for a substitute teacher.
➢ FIVE PAGES OF TEACHER NOTES.
➢ A brief introduction.
➢ Information on how I use the text.
➢ A multiple-choice test (based upon the included reading) with 14 questions and answers. This is also included as a separate PDF file.
➢ Nine essay/discussion questions with sub-questions (in the unit itself and as a separate PDF file) aligned with ELA-Literacy CCSS 9-12 – see the standards listed below.
➢ If you are interested in this activity on Book I of the Republic you may be interested in my other HOTS units on TpT:
• Critical Thinking: What is Textual Analysis #2: THE REPUBLIC (Philosophy)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1: W 11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2: 11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
The ELA Common Core State Standards require students to learn how to read texts carefully:
“As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews. They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.” English Language Arts Standards | Home | English Language Arts
Keywords: HOTS; High School; Non-fiction; Textual Analysis; The Great Books; Plato; Socrates; Critical Reading; Higher Order Thinking; philosophy; political philosophy; History; social studies; ELA; Literature; logic; essay questions; CCSS; study guide
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