Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Shop Around the Corner...

So, I have to admit that I am a fan of Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks.  Both are fine actors with what appears to be fine character.  These two actors also share a movie based on the same premise:  communication is the key to falling in love.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and You've Got Mail (1998) are the same story line given in two different worlds.  Different in the country the movie is set in, different in the time, and thus different in the societal and technological ideals of the time.  Morality is explored in both, but not so much that it interferes with the big will conquer all, even being competitors or enemies in the past.  Such a nice thought...the girl that seems to hate you may be the one you are meant to be with.  Great!!

In education, we often need to get the kids attention and reel them in to do what they would normally not do.  In this post, I am proposing you show them a few identical scenes from the movies to catch their attention.  Then, ask them to update the premise by using the current technology for communication.  The "Shop Around the Corner" used mailed letters, but "You've Got Mail" employed email.  How would Meg and Tom hook up now? or eharmony?  A common friend on Facebook?  Twitter?   Or, a text message sent to a group that only has her number.  Who knows, but the movie will catch them with their similarity and you give the students the chance to dream and create and write about their creation.    That's a lesson plan I would support for my kid.

The students could focus on so many differences, but the tech difference is interesting...snail mail vs email. Or snail mail vs texting?  What would today's students choose to use as their interaction?

One final bonus is that the change in technology appears endless and the lesson is likely to render new ideas each year, keeping you, the less tech crazed instructor, on top of the newest communication methods of the youth.

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