"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Star Wars

I don't think I saw all three of the original Star Wars movies until I was 20 years old and for part of one of my English education classes at BYU, I had to observe a teacher in her classroom. I was assigned to a teacher at American Fork High School and while I was there, one of her classes was learning about the hero journey and in order to teach that, they watched all three movies. Since then, I've seen the three newer episodes like every other American, although I either saw them at home on dvd, or at Movies 8 in Provo for $1, not six times in the theater in the opening week after camping out all night... like some people I know.

My in-laws raised three boys (and one girl) in the 1980s so while we were there last week and Jed was unpacking all of their books and arranging them on bookshelves, our kids came across a lot of Star Wars picture books. My kids are now experts on the plots of the movies and want to know how old they have to be to watch them.

They've known about Star Wars for years because our Kansas cousins start with three boys ranging in age from 12 to 9. It has become of even more interest to them because now that we are in Virginia, our 8 year old Virginia cousin just got to watch the PG movies earlier this year after years of waiting to be deemed old enough by his parents. Buddy loves playing Star Wars on the Wii with his cousin, got a Star Wars game for his Leapster and has a lightsaber (what little boy in America doesn't), but really has no clue what it's all about. He's currently driving me crazy because Baby X is asleep in their room, and his lightsaber is under his bed. Princess Sparkley is upset because she has a Polly Pocket she can pretend is Princess Leia, but we sold a lot of her Polly Pockets on ebay last year, and now she doesn't have any boy Polly Pockets to be Luke Skywalker.

What's funniest, is that they act like they are the experts on Star Wars when in reality, their dad grew up when Star Wars was everything to little boys. And knowing his brothers, I'm sure he's spent days of his childhood doing nothing but play Star Wars.


Angela said...

That is funny! I guess that proves how timeless the star wars phenomena really is...I could have definitely lived without the 3 new ones, but the 3 originals are truly classics in my opinion. Jar Jar Binx really???

wendys said...

My kids love star wars. Mostly my son, but my 2 year old pretends to like it too. So what's up with all the movies kids see in school? I think there are usually better ways to teach things than movies. I get very annoyed when my kindergärtner tells me he has watched a movie at school.

Heather Payne said...

S has spent a lot of his time doing just what you described about every cool new movie to come out. His friends were all allowed to see Spiderman, Star Trek, Transformers, and now Avatar. Fortunately(??) they typically have kid-friendly books summarizing the plot, which he was allowed to read even though he couldn't see the movies, thus preserving his sense of coolness on the playground. I'm not sure if we made the Star Wars obsession worse by holding him back from seeing it until he couldn't believe his good luck and determined to watch it 1 million times to make up for those years he was "cheated". May the Force be with you on this parenting dilemma.

Jill said...

Ok, I've been meaning to comment on this for the entire day. While I don't think that there is a strong pedagogical basis for watching all three Star Wars movies, I do think that movies have their place in school.

For example, I am a Spanish teacher. It is good for the kids to hear native speakers once in a while. You just have to have them do something like write down words that they recognize.

Also, sometimes the teacher has menstrual cramps. It happens.

Lastly, when teaching middle school it is a great bribe. For example in January I say, "Kids, we will watch a movie before spring break if you are quiet until then." It works.

That being said, I would never do it more than once a quarter.

Nance said...

I'm not opposed to showing TV or movies in the classroom... as long as it is applicable. And I think showing all three Star Wars movies was a bit much. Especially, since they could get an idea about the Hero's Journey from just one, or from select scenes. I think the problem was that this teacher had 2 hour class periods.

As a homeschooler I LOVE showing educational shows to my kids. Almost every science subject involves watching Bill Nye on youtube or checking out a Magic School Bus dvd from the library. And there are actually a lot of great videos you can find online of celebrities reading classic children's books. I know that my daughter's regular teacher last year did that sometimes for a 5-10 minute break for her to get stuff organized and the kids to hear someone besides her reading them a story. But I agree... it shouldn't be overused.

As a former student, I remember watching The Lion King and Stand and Deliver in Spanish class (in Spanish) and having to write down words we recognized or wanted to know what they meant.

I also skipped my last day of Geometry class one year because we were watching the movie Speed... which, if you didn't know, has NOTHING to do with Geometry, AND is Rated R. Some teachers just get lazy.

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