Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Windows and Mirrors: A Program about Diversity for Grades 4-5

Alternate Activity 2: Dickens, The Movie

Materials for Activity

  • DVD or videotape of a film based on a Charles Dickens story, and appropriate equipment

Preparation for Activity

  • Choose a film to show; see Find Out More for an annotated list. Purchase, rent or borrow a DVD or videotape. Preview the film to make sure it is appropriate for the group. If you like, select the excerpt(s) you want to show.
  • Adapt the suggested discussion questions.
  • Make sure to leave time for the group to process their viewing experience immediately after the film.

Description of Activity

Gather the group. Explain that one reason modern storytellers-movie-makers-like to retell Charles Dickens's stories is that they present a sharp view of economic injustice and at the same time they convey the humanity we all share. If you feel it necessary, offer a context for the story the group will see. Then show the film or excerpt(s).

Afterward, invite volunteers to sum up the plot. Pay attention to their version(s) of the story for clues to what most impressed them.

Adapt the following questions to lead a discussion.

  • Where do you see extreme poverty in the film?
  • Where do you see excessive wealth?
  • Are the poor always good? Are the rich always bad?
  • What are some human qualities that Dickens seems to admire?
    • Who in the movie demonstrates those qualities? How?
    • Which of those qualities are also qualities we value in our Unitarian Universalist faith? How do we show them?
  • If you wanted to tell this story about our current society, who or what might be in your movie?

Including All Participants

Position children with vision or hearing disabilities where they can best experience the movie.