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Telling Good from Bad in Movies and Television
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Activity Time||30–90 minutes, plus time to view the movie or television program|
If you've ever watched an old western movie or television show, you know it's usually easy to tell the good characters from the bad. The "good guys" wear white hats, and the "bad guys" wear black hats. It's not always so easy to sort characters out, though. In this activity, you can discuss with teens how they can tell the "good" characters from the "bad" ones by watching for clues that the movie makers have left, including the character's appearance, dialogue and actions, and interactions with other characters.
Most stories in books and movies focus on characters and how they behave in specific situations. Teens practice character analysis skills by paying attention to what the characters do and say, what others say about them, and what the movie maker tells the audience about them. In this activity, teens focus on basic character analysis to look for clues left by the filmmakers to help the audience identify the good and the bad characters. In the process, they learn more about how story tellers and movie makers use characterization to make books and movies interesting and engaging.
This activity was modified from the ReadWriteThink lesson plan "Tracking the Ways Writers Develop Heroes and Villains."