Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) August 31, 2012
Katheryn Stocket's best-selling novel, "The Help," and the movie of the same name, offer readers and viewers a different angle from which to explore racism and classism, revealing how both distort human relationships. The story reveals how personal connections of primary care giver/child; parent/child; boyfriend/girlfriend and life-long friendship are distorted and often destroyed by racism. The movie also compares racism and classism.
Using the TWM Learning Guide to "The Help," teachers in ELA classes will engage students in an analysis of character development in a popular story. Students will exercise their writing skills and become aware of the segregated society that existed in America as late as the 1960s and how the racism and classism of that society limited the lives of both blacks and whites.
"The Help" has two intertwining plot lines. One is the story of a young white woman who returns from college to her hometown in Mississippi in the 1960s to begin a writing career. She surreptitiously interviews black maids and writes their stories for a book to be published in New York while at the same trying to discover the reason for the sudden disappearance of the black maid who raised her and who she dearly loves. The second and more important plot line is that of the black maids who courageously reveal some of the harsh realities of racism by contributing their stories to the book.
The story makes clear the necessity of individual courage in fomenting change in a resistant culture.
The TWM Learning Guide for "The Help" contains discussion questions and writing assignments.
For U.S. history classes the book and the movie are valuable additions to a list of works to be read or watched as homework to explore the genre of historical fiction. See TWM's Historical Fiction in Film Homework Project.
TeachWithMovies.com is the premier site on the Internet showing teachers how to use feature films and other video resources to enhance the classroom experience. The site offers thousands of pages of lesson plans and curriculum materials on more than 350 feature films. The price for access to all TWM curriculum materials is $11.99 per year per teacher. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.