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Diplomacy in Action

Chapter 5: Suggested Resources and Films for Guiding Viewing


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Knowing Me, Knowing You: The I-Sight Way to Understand Ourself and Others by Pamela Espeland. This book written for teens, provides an instrument which allows students to understand their dimensions of behavior and explore ways to interact more effectively with the people in their lives. There are chapters on communicating, resolving conflicts and flexing their reactions.

People Skills by Rober Bolton is a communication skills handbook written for adults that can help eliminate communication problems. The author describes the twelve most common communication barriers showing how these roadblocks damage relationships. It focuses on simple assertion techniques, body language, use of silence, and how to de-escalate family disputes, relationship quarrels and other heated arguments.

Fostering the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children Through Guided Viewing of Film by Thomas Hebert and Kristie L.Speirs Neumeister. This article appearing in Roeper Review, Fall 2002 describes how to use guided viewing of film as a strategy through which teachers and counselors may assist young bright student sin gaining helpful insights to deal with the problems they face. The article presents a theoretical foundation for this approach a variety of strategies for implementation and a collection of films appropriate for use with bright youngsters.


Selected Films for Guiding Viewing Focusing on issues faced by adolescents Compiled by Thomas Hebert, Ph. D. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Annie 0 (1995)
Annie becomes the first female player on her high school's male basketball team as her traditional Hispanic parents struggle to understand her athletic aspirations. This talented young woman's achievements are also not appreciated by her teammates, her boyfriend, or her competitive brother.

Audience: Middle School MPAA Rating: PG Hallmark

Broadcast News (1987)
This movie satirically examines the inner workings of a Washington DC television news bureau and also explores a romantic triangle between a feisty young female perfectionist producer, a handsome anchor talented in people skills, and a sensitive male reporter who is very smart but hash few social skills. The audience will enjoy the interaction of values and style differences among the three main characters.

Audience: High School MPAA Rating PG 13 20th Century Fox

The Competition (1980)
Two gifted pianists competing for a prestigious international music award fall in love. The competition between the two talented musicians becomes more complex as their relationship unfolds. Both musicians must examine their values and decide just how important it is to become an internationally renowned concert pianist.

Audience: High School MPAA Rating PG 13 Columbia Pictures


Dead Poet's Society (1987)
A dynamic prep school English teacher inspires his male students with unconventional teaching and is passion for poetry. Through his literature classes, he encourages them to view life through a different philosophical lens. Though he is asked to resign from his faculty position, he leaves a long-lasting impression on his young prot�g�s.

Audience: High School MPAA Rating PG 13 Touchstone Pictures


Frankie and Hazel (2000)
Frankie & Hazel are two bright middle school children growing up in a small New Jersey town. Frankie is being raised by her grandmother, who has aspirations for Frankie to pursue ballet, to honor her deceased mother, who was a famous ballerina. Rather than continue her ballet studies, Frankie becomes involved in a Little League baseball team, without her grandmother's knowledge. Meanwhile Hazel, a talented leader decides to clean up her community and challenge the incumbent mayor for his office.

Audience: Middle School MPAA Rating G

Joy Luck Club
After her mother's death, "June" - Ming-Na Wen, is asked to take her place in a mahjongg club. The other members, like her mother were all born in China before the 1949 revolution. June discovers that she has two half sisters in China and plans a trip to meet them. With this as a catalyst, the members of the club share stories of their mothers and their own lives in China. While sharing their stories, we also learn of their strained relationships with their Americanized daughters. The film highlights the desire for a generation of Asian women to pass on their hopes for a better life for their daughters.

Audience: High School MPAA Rating R Buena Vista

Lucas (1986)
Lucas is a highly gifted young man who has been accelerated into high school. More interested in the wonders entomology than high school athletics and parties he struggles to find a place where he fits in. His problems begin when he develops a friendship with Maggie, an attractive new girl in town, during the summer. When school, begins, their friendship changes and Lucas does everything he can to capture her heart.


Audience: Middle School MPAA Rating PG 132 20th Century Fox

The Mighty (1998)
The Mighty is a story of two young men who come together as outcasts. A highly gifted physically challenged youngster develops a close friendship with his next door neighbor when he becomes his reading tutor. In return, his friend protects him from teenage adversaries in their middle school. Together the two boys take on adventurous challenges. In the spirit of King Arthur and his Knight s of the Round Table, they set out on an inspirational quest for greatness and preserving the common good. In doing so they discover the greatest treasure-their lifelong friendship.

Audience: Middle School MPAA Rating PG 13 Miramax Films

Rudy (1994)
Rudy Ruettiger will allow nothing to stop him from realizing his dreams of attending Notre Dame University and playing on the football team. Rudy is an inspirational story of a young man who overcomes many hurdles in his quest for reaching his ultimate goal ­- becoming an official member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish team.

Audience: High School MPAA Rating PG Tristar Pictures


October Sky (1999)
In this biographical film, Homer Hickam has no reason to think that he will be any different from other boys growing up in Coalwood, West Virginia where all young men are expected to become coal miners like their fathers. Too small to earn a football scholarship to college, Homer has no way out of his predetermined life until 1957 when Sputnik flies over his community and changes Homer's life. Homer begins a mission to build and launch his own homemade rockets with a group of his loyal friend. Although their frequent mishaps get the "Rocket Boys" in trouble, their successes inspire their small mining community to believe that intelligent youngsters can raise their aspirations and strive for a better life beyond Coalwood.

Audience: Middle School & High School MPAA Rating PG Universal Pictures



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