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My Neighbor Totoro - ETK

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Jessica Ng
Topic replies: 44
Topic Posts: 3
My Neighbor Totoro - ETK

My Neighbor Totoro feels like such an obvious choice for this film assignment, but maybe that’s because it offers so many valuable lessons and themes, and manages to convey them through memorable characters, masterful storytelling, and captivating animation. My ETK students spend a science unit studying the parts of plants and how they grow. As a unit opener, I would use the nighttime dance scene, where Mei and Satsuki participate in a ceremony with the different totoros to make their seeds grow (in the span of a minute, they go from seed to fully-grown tree). After that clip, I would ask the basic, essential question, “How do plants grow?” to assess my students’ background knowledge before teaching the main content.

Esther Dupree
Topic replies: 33
Topic Posts: 3
Totoro--Secondary

Great choice!  It actually is such a great resource right now because it is about their mother with Tuberculosis and how she had to be away from their family while she was sick.  This could be something students draw conclusions about the similarities and differences between their mother's quarantine and COVID-19 quarantine.  In a regular high school class I could see having students discuss the emotional impacts on families and how these girls found a way to find beauty and joy in a time of deep anguish.  

I can also see how using it as a how plants grow lesson with kids would be so meaningful.  It would allow you to engage in TPR (Total Physical Response) techniques while teaching them all the elements of a plant life cycle.  I love your idea.

Elizabeth Ures
Topic replies: 35
Topic Posts: 3
Totoro

I love the use of this film for ETK students! I am impressed with your connection Esther between the current times and the film. It would be helpful for supporting the social emotional needs of students with this film. Thank you for sharing this idea.