My favorite part about teaching high school is opening up discussions of controversial subjects and asking hard questions. My daughter is working on a ½ credit elective by completing an Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective. I found the Elephant Man to be a great psychology movie for high school class.
Even if you are not teaching psychology, the movie Elephant Man can open the door to discussions about how society treats those with special needs, why are people frightened by what they do not understand and if it is okay to choose when to die.
I remembered hearing the movie’s name but did not recall if I had ever watched it. I did a quick read on Wikipedia, not a place to cite from but a great place to get an overview.
- Since Elephant Man is based on a true story, either before or after the movie take some time to read more about Joseph Merrick. Take a moment to understand the rare disease that caused his deformity.
- If you have a child interested in movie production, I suggest taking a look at why the producer chose to film the movie in black and white in 1980.
- Then research which Academy Award came into existence because of the movie Elephant Man.
- There is a brief scene where the doctor is performing a surgery on a man injured by a machine. In the scene you can quickly notice the difference in operating room protocols.
- Complete a venn diagram comparing medical procedures of surgeries performed in the Victorian age and surgeries done today. If you can handle graphic blood scenes, BBC has a YouTube on the History of Surgeries.