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Education Reporter

Book of the Month
Book of the Month

Love and Life at the Movies — Our Power to Love, Educational Guidance Institute, 1998, $55, 231 pps.

Love and Life at the Movies is a character-based abstinence education curriculum that includes complete, teacher-friendly lesson plans. It is designed for students in grades 6-12. The objective of the curriculum is "to help adolescents build their character and make the ethical connection between sexuality and love."

The curriculum applies the principle that the educational use of classic films can help adolescents gain understanding and appreciation of the universal concepts and values depicted in timeless stories. The lesson plans promote a better understanding of relationships in love, marriage, and family life, while enhancing students' academic development in critical thinking, vocabulary, and writing skills.

Love and Life at the Movies divides the featured films into two categories according to plot and character complexity. Because younger students fare better with less complex plots and more concrete themes, the curriculum uses films such as Broken Arrow (1950), which teaches friendship, love and the virtues necessary for peace to prevail among people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and Key Largo (1947), which conveys the meaning of moral courage in a dramatic and intimate confrontation of good and evil.

Older students can digest more complex themes, plot development, and characters, such as in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1955), which teaches the importance of mutual respect in marriage and family collaboration in a crisis, and High Noon (1952), which depicts unity and commitment in marriage, and weaves in the connections of character, community and the common good.

The curriculum provides more than 25 hours of lessons on love and life, conflict resolution, moral decision-making, character, commitment, friendship, marriage and family life. It combines diverse strands of instruction into one curriculum that can be used as the foundation for a full semester course, or integrated into existing courses such as health, psychology, sociology, social studies, or film criticism.

Send $55, plus $5.00 shipping, to 188 Berbusse Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630, or call (540) 635-4420.

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