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Exploring Food in Ponyo and Spirited Away

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Jennifer Smith
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Exploring Food in Ponyo and Spirited Away

I teach middle school, so I have to be mindful of the rules regarding the use of movies in my classroom. That being said, there are several anime movies that can be successfully implemented to help students think about East Asian cuisine. One such movie that I thought of was Ponyo. While I could show the entire movie in class, it would be most effective to show the students the scene in which Ponyo is introduced to ramen. I could show the students this clip and then we could discuss their experiences with ramen. This could be a springboard to studying the history of ramen and exploring ramen’s impact around the world. Similarly, I could show the film Spirited Away and the class could discuss the foods shown in the film before exploring each type of food in greater detail.