“Moana” Teacher Review and Movie Study

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Hello and happy Saturday. I recently watched Moana because apparently I’d been living under a rock and had missed out on that wonderful production by Disney. Of course, I watched it with teacher eyes, which means I constantly thought about ways to incorporate this movie into my classes, or rather ways to plan a lesson that revolves around Moana. I think this movie is relevant in many aspects, which makes it perfect of teachers of any grade to work with.

As a preschool teacher, I immediately thought of how cool it would be to work on a whole science unit that revolves around Moana. The way it presents nature and the sea as this characters that are always there, and the way it shows the damage humans have done to them is so clear that I think it can get little kids to reflect about our environment and come up with ideas to save it. Obviously the movie is a whole metaphor, but it’s a great one.

Now, I love the cultural aspect of this movie because it shows us that there are people who think and live different than us, and that Greek or Latin myths are just two examples of the way in which people thought about their origins. I’m already thinking how cool it would be to do a project on the whole Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures, or to encourage children to explore different groups of people, based on their mythology. I think one of the conclusions they’d reach is that we are not that different from one another, even if we have different lifestyles and belief systems.

Finally, for older students, I would work on female empowerment. I would encourage students to analyze the movie and look for examples where Moana was empowered and them some others that are a portrayal of sexism. I would have them think and write about how they think the story would’ve gone had the main character been a man, and just have them reflect on the importance of movies for young children portraying strong women as main characters, as opposed to princesses who became worthy by marrying a prince they’d just met.

I’m obviously writing all these ideas in the hopes of making them a reality one day, or inspiring someone to do so. I also made this movie study that’s on my TpT store and you can check out by clicking here. I don’t want to make any promises, but I’ll try to make more movie and book studies and have them in my store.

What other movies should I make worksheets or activity sets for? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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