Reflection: Real World Applications Act III, Scene 5: Evaluating the director's choices - Section 4: Evaluating the Director's Choices - Short Essay




Guns in school present one of the defining issues of our time.  There are stories in the news about kids bringing weapons to school, kids shooting paper guns and getting suspended -- really, it's all over the place.

So, is it responsible to show parts of a movie that feature guns?  And I am not talking about muskets or artillery.  Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet is all about impulsive, testosterone-fueled, gang violence.

I think about it a lot, but I have come to a few conclusions: 1.  The movie doesn't glorify the violence.  It's a tragedy, after all.  And the students recognize that it was completely preventable. and 2. Guns are the swords of our time.  Shakespeare wrote for his time, without concern for propriety (obviously.); and 3. I don't show the whole movie, just clips. 

There are some weaker arguments, too, that support showing the clips: 1.  My students are completely unfazed by the violence (not a good enough reason, but support for the fact that the kids have been exposed to violence in TV and movies, so this is not a shocking experience for them); and 2. Our community is military and rural, so I am probably one of the few people watching who doesn't have multiple guns in my home.  I guess what I mean to say is that these weak arguments aren't enough to justify using the clip, but I do think the culture of the classroom is an important factor.

As you can see, I feel a little conflicted about it.  But, I do think the relevance and power of the modern movie trump concerns about its content.

  Real World Applications: Guns in School
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Act III, Scene 5: Evaluating the director's choices

Unit 2: Romeo and Juliet
Lesson 10 of 12

Objective: SWBAT compare their independent reading of a scene to the director's "take" in a film version of that scene.

Big Idea: When comparing texts and movies, WHY is the important question to ask.

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