Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide
Introduction Thank you for sharing the Wisconsin Film Festival’s Big Screens, Little Folks (BSLF) films with your students! As Part One of this Study Guide advocates, media literacy is critically important in 21st century learning. Part Two of the Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide provides information about the films that your students will see in the 2019 BSLF student matinees, and specific activities are suggested for some of the films. All the short films listed in this guide do not have any dialogue. Preparations for your visit For K–2 grade students attending the Festival, explain that they are going to watch a variety of short animations. These films come from many countries. Share where the films have been made and identify where these countries are in the world. For 3–5 grade students, explain that Mirai is a full-length feature film and is an animated adventure fantasy by Studio Chizu. Students might be familiar with Studio Ghibli, the creators of My Neighbor Totoro and many other animated features. The animation style of Studio Chizu is similar to that of Studio Ghibli. Trailers and Activities Before your visit to the Festival you might use the trailers listed to excite students about the trip and prepare them for seeing the kinds of films that may not be familiar to them. (Not all the short films have trailers available. We have included as many as we could find.) You might: Review the names of the films you will be seeing, and ask students what they think each film will be about. View several trailers and ask the students what they think might happen in each film. If you plan to see the short films in our Shorter and Sweeter program, you can create a study group for each film and ask students to present responses to the class after your visit.
Shorter and Sweeter: Short Films for Grades K–2
Title Fruits of Clouds (Plody mraku)
Director Katerina Karhánková
Julia Ocker Veronika Zacharová
Germany Czech Republic
Jamy Wheless, John Helms Hanna Kim
Raúl RobinAlejandro Morales Reyes Evgenia Golubeva
Doll’s Letters Dolphin (Delfin) The House (Domek) Konigiri-Kun Butterfly The Pig on the Hill Racoon and the Light Slug (Nacktschnecke) A Tiger with No Stripes (Le Tigre sans rayures) I Want to Live in the Zoo
https://www.filmcenter.cz/en /czech-shorts/films/14-thehouse https://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=TO_N_pQbhOk Full film: https://vimeo.com/26661396 9 (The first 54 seconds make a fine trailer!) https://www.youtube.com/w atch?time_continue=49&v= oIC9PXS4jYQ https://vimeo.com/22822561 9
Feature Film for Grades 3–5 Mirai
Shorter and Sweeter: Short Films for Grades K–2
Fruits of Clouds Plody mraku Katerina Karhánková Director Czech Republic, 2017 10 min. Animation Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUMd_gWIMVE
SYNOPSIS When their food supply runs low, little Furry makes a great discovery. But it needs to overcome its fear of the dark woods to get to the food source. Will Furry make it?
Oana Lacroix Director France, 2016 6 min. Animation Trailer: https://vimeo.com/285498970
SYNOPSIS In a forest inhabited by birds of single color, everyone has found their place. But one day a two-colored bird shows up and causes a little more than chirping.
Dollâ€™s Letters Natalie Grofpel Director Russia, 2016 7 min. Animation Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE0YAXnB2M8 SYNOPSIS When a little girl loses her favorite doll in the busy city, the nicest postman on earth invents an incredible story to help the girl get over her loss.
Dolphin Delfin Mike Hayhurst Director USA, 2017 3 min. Animation SYNOPSIS An absent-minded swordfish pricks the colorful bubble that dolphin was playing with. He then tries to fix the situation.
The House Domek Veronika Zacharovรก Director Czech Republic, 2016 5 min. Animation Trailer: https://www.filmcenter.cz/en/czech-shorts/films/14-the-house SYNOPSIS When a house wakes up to discover that its family has left, it begins a journey to find them. Its only clue is a red business card. Will the house find its family?
The following activities were created by the Discovery Film Festival, Scotland's International Film Festival for Young Audiences. http://www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk/resources
Before Visiting the Cinema Activity One – Listening and Talking Let the children hear the trailer first. Get them to predict what they think is happening. Ask them to share their ideas. They should be able to use the sound of the traffic as a clue but may not pick up on the main character being the house. Questions for discussion: • What do they think the film is about? • What can they hear? • Who do they think the characters are? • What do they think the characters are doing? Watch the trailer and ask them to review their predictions. What do they think will happen in the rest of the film?
After Visiting the Cinema Activity Two – Listening and Talking After viewing the film, ask them to reconsider their predictions. Were any of their predictions correct? • How did the house feel when the family left? • How do we know? • How did the animator show the emotions the house was feeling? • Why did the family move? • Was the new house better than the old house? Activity Three – Social Studies In pairs or co-operative learning groups, get the children to think about the type of house they live in. Get the children to describe the house they live in. Next, have them draw and label it. Questions to consider: • Is it a tall building? • Is it attached to any other buildings? • Is there one main door or are there lots of doors? • Are there any stairs in the house? • Does it have lots of windows? • Is there a garden? • Can you park a car outside it? • Are there shops nearby? • What other buildings are beside your house?
Activity Four â€“ Health and Wellbeing The house uses the picture of the family to help figure out where they have moved to. Discuss the family composition and how there are different kinds of families. Encourage the children to talk about who is in their family. This can include extended family members and pets. Get the children to draw and label their family members. Activity Five â€“ Literacy Encourage the children to think about what makes a house a home. Refer back to the discussion about why the family moved house and what their house looked like. Get the children to create an ad for a new house. They can draw the house they are advertising and then write, using persuasive language, to advertise it.
Konigiri-Kun Butterfly Mari Miyazawa Director Japan, 2017 5 min. Stop-Motion Animation SYNOPSIS Mari Miyazawa's sushi animation brings to life the adventures of a rice ball and her pet broccoli. (The Wisconsin Film Festivalâ€™s Shorter and Sweeter program has featured Konigiri-Kun adventures since 2016!) This year, our friend the little rice ball is back. This time as a butterfly lover who decides to do the right thing: feed them and let them fly.
The Pig on the Hill Jamy Wheless, John Helms Director USA, 2018 6 min. Animation Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO_N_pQbhOk SYNOPSIS When his new neighbor Duck moves in next door, Pig does not warm up to them at first. Thankfully, this will soon change.
Raccoon and the Light Hanna Kim Director USA, 2018 4 min. Animation WARNING! Full Film: https://vimeo.com/266613969 (The first 54 seconds make a fine trailer!) 2018 Student Academy Awards: Hanna Kimâ€™s Acceptance Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jccbodsl_Y
SYNOPSIS What happens when a nocturnal creature finds a left-behind flashlight? More than you think! Winner of the 2018 Student Academy Awards.
The following was taken from, The Kids Should See This: Smart Videos for Curious Minds of all Ages, https://thekidshouldseethis.com. In this video, a mother raccoon teaches her young kit, her baby, to climb a tree! https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/a-mother-raccoon-teaches-her-kit-how-to-climba-tree A Virginia family accidentally trapped a raccoon mom and her babies in a nest in their chimney. When the raccoon mom escaped to the basement, the family called the United States Humane Society to help get her and her two babies back out into nature. But… there were two more babies in the nest, which no one figured out until the next day. In the Humane Society video below, John Griffin and Lori Thiele explain how they rescued the last two babies, rehydrated them, and placed in a “reunion box” for the mother to find. Did she find them after three days of separation? Check out the remote trail cam footage at the end to find out: https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/30385625291
Raccoon Fun Facts: • Raccoons are nocturnal, which means that they are awake and active at night. • They live throughout much of the world in wooded areas and big cities. • During winter in cold northern climates, raccoons sleep for long periods, although they don't actually hibernate. • Raccoons walk on all four paws like a bear. They can stand up on two legs as well. • Among the raccoon’s favorite foods are: fruits, seeds, nuts, birds' eggs, and plants. • In cities, raccoons scavenge in garbage cans and eat scraps of food and other types of trash found there. • Raccoons are excellent swimmers and can eat fish, crawfish, or frogs.
Slug Nocktschnecke Julia Ocker Director Germany, 2018 4 min. Animation SYNOPSIS A slug is envious of snails and their shells. However, in the end, it has to ask itself if a shell is really the right fit.
A Tiger with No Stripes Le Tigre sans rayures Raúl Robin Alejandro Morales Reyes Director France, 2018 9 min. Animation Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=49&v=oIC9PXS4jYQ
SYNOPSIS Little tiger is sad because he has no stripes. He decides to take a journey to look for them. Will he find them in the end? Here’s a video to learn more about tigers. Tigers for Kids: Learn all about Tigers – FreeSchool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEQaRY4YpVo
I Want To Live in the Zoo Evgenia Golubeva Director Russia, 2017 5 min. Animation Trailer: https://vimeo.com/228225619 SYNOPSIS Who wants to do homework, tidy up, and eat porridge when one can live in a zoo? Sasha hopes to find a better place with the penguins or the polar bears! The following activities were adapted from materials created by Lynsey Dick for the Discovery Film Festival, Scotland's International Film Festival for Young Audiences.
Questions for discussion: • What animals did you see? • Why does the little girl want to leave home? • Why does she want to live at the zoo? • Why does she not fit in with the animals?
Activity One – Health and Wellbeing Sasha decides to try living in the zoo as she doesn’t feel like she fits in. Use the stills below as a stimulus for discussion about times when the children didn’t feel like they fit in.
Questions for discussion: • Have there been times when they felt like they didn’t fit in? • Was there a time when they were not included in something? • Why do people feel like they don’t fit in? • What can we do to help people fit in?
Activity Two – Expressive Arts Sasha uses different guises to try to fit in with the different animals. Get the children to create their own animal masks. • Encourage them to use different materials such as paper, paint, rollers, etc. • Can they incorporate visual elements into their work such as color, line, and texture?
Full Length Feature: Grades 3–5
Mirai Mamoru Hosoda Director Japan, 2018 98 min. Animation English dubbed version Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8-PW5wvt30 SYNOPSIS Kun, a 4-year-old boy in Japan, is excited about having a new baby sister, Mirai, whose name means “future.” When she arrives, however, Kun begins to feel that his parents only pay attention to Mirai and ignore him. Later he visits the family garden, and discovers that his little sister has come back from the future as a teenager. She takes him on a time-traveling adventure that gives him a new perspective on his family and himself.
Pre- or Post-Screening Activities In the film Mirai, the family celebrates Girls Day, or the Doll Festival, one of five annual festivals in Japan. Doll Festival Written by Tara McGowan Doll Festival (Girls’ Day) —Peach Blossom Festival Hina-matsuri ( )—March 3rd Overview: Doll Festival, or Hina-matsuri, is the second of the five annual festivals (gosekku) and is sometimes referred to as Momo no sekku, or the “Peach Blossom Festival.” According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the 3rd day of the 3rd month would have fallen in April, so it corresponded to the time when peaches typically blossomed. Peaches were considered to have important healing properties. When the Shogunate, during the Edo period (1603-1868), determined that people of all classes would celebrate the five Seasonal Festivals (gosekku), Girl’s Day became the Peach Blossom Festival (Momo no sekku), just as Boy’s Day (5/5) became known as the Iris Festival (Shōbu no sekku). In ancient China, the 3rd day of the 3rd month was viewed as auspicious because the repeated odd numbers made it heavily yang, but the change in season also meant that people were more vulnerable to colds and other illnesses. Men and women would cleanse themselves of impurities by brushing their bodies with dolls made of paper or straw and then ritually disposing of these dolls by sending them down a river or out to the ocean. In Japan, this ritual was adopted by the aristocratic classes in Japan in the 8th century and later spread to other sections of the society. Even today, there are places in Japan where sending paper or straw dolls called nagashi-bina downstream as a purification ritual still persists. In the Heian period (794-1185), it became increasingly popular for daughters in aristocratic families to play with dolls, which came to be called hina ningyō ( ). Hina refers to anything that is small and adorable, and ningyō literally means “human shape,” so it is not surprising that dolls were often viewed as human surrogates. Just as impurities and illnesses could be transferred to dolls to keep children healthy, dolls could also be viewed as receptacles of parent’s prayers and hopes for their children’s future prosperity. As Japanese artisans developed their skills, creating ever more elegant and beautiful dolls, people began to keep dolls for display in their homes, rather than ritually sending them down the river. By the Edo period (1603-1868), the practice of creating elaborate displays of dolls for Girl’s Day spread to other classes of the society, and March 3rd was officially designated one of the nenchū gyōji (), or annual festivals. The dolls in a typical Doll Festival display today still clearly symbolize the wishes of parents of a certain social class for their daughter’s future prosperity, which was often realized in earlier times through the prospects of a good marriage. At the top of the display sit the emperor (o-dairi sama) and empress (o-hina sama) dolls dressed for their wedding. On the next level down, there are three court ladies-in-waiting (sannin kanjo) with food and sake (wine) and below that sit the five musicians (gonin bayashi), playing flutes and drums. Depending on the family’s wealth, a full set of dolls would include the ministers of the left and right and several other messengers and servants. On the lower tiers of the platform, a variety of miniature furniture, utensils, and carriages would also be displayed.
These dolls were an important part of a wealthy young woman’s dowry. Even if a family could not afford the whole set of dolls, they would still try to provide their daughters with some variation on the emperor and empress dolls. Today, most families bring out their hina ningyō for display around mid to late February and take them down immediately after the festival on March 3rd. There is a common superstition that keeping the dolls on display beyond the day of the festival might lead to a late marriage for the daughters in the family, so anxious parents don’t want to take any chances! As with all festivals in Japan, rice cakes (mochi) play a significant role in the Doll’s Festival. In early times, girls would take their dolls on picnic outings, so a distinctive kind of miniature dry rice cracker called arare was developed for these occasions. In modern times, however, most families with daughters celebrate the festival with an indoor party at home, typically in the room where the dolls are displayed. Rice cakes in a diamond shape and layered in the colors, green, white, and pink are also displayed to represent the blossoming peaches. Children drink non-alcoholic sweet sake called amazake. These foods are symbolically meant to keep them healthy in the year ahead. People also eat chirashi-zushi (literally, “scattered sushi”) with a variety of colorful fish and other ingredients scattered over sushi rice, and they drink a broth soup with clams (hamaguri). The two sides of a clamshell fit perfectly together and are therefore thought to symbolize a good marriage. Although ideas about what constitutes a promising future have changed over time and vary from one culture to another, it can be safely said that parents’ wishes for the next generations’ health and future happiness remain much the same the world over. Doll Festival Song (Ureshii Hina-matsuri) (Verse one) Akari wo tsukemasho bonbori ni Let’s light the paper lanterns Ohana wo agemasho momo no hana Let’s make offerings of peach blossoms Gonin bayashi no fue taiko Five musicians with flutes and drums Kyō wa tanoshii hinamatsuri Today is joyful Doll’s Day (Verse two) Odairi sama to ohina sama The emperor doll and his wife Futari narande sumashi gao Sitting side by side so calmly Oyome ni irashita nee sama ni They remind me of my older sister’s wedding Yoku nita kanjo no shiroi kao Her face all white, like a lady of the court
The following lesson plan about The Doll Festival comes from About Japan: A Teacher’s Resource: http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/celebrating-doll-festival#sthash.ae5YtS1F.dpbs
Sibling Rivalry This article on the Scholastic website, “Helping Students Welcome New Siblings” by Alycia Zimmerman, describes great classroom activities that teachers can design to celebrate the arrival of a new sibling and the new big sibling status of the student: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/alycia-zimmerman/helping-students-welcome-newsiblings/
Time and Time Travel This link leads to a NOVA Teachers lesson plan that explores the nature of time, which is designed for 5–8 grade, but could be adapted for younger students as well: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/education/activities/2612_time.html
Family History Create a Family Timeline Ask students to draw a timeline of their life from birth to the current moment. They can include events like family moves or trips, starting school, learning to ski or read, and other events they think were milestones in their life. Then ask them to create a 100-year timeline for their family. This will require some homework and discussions with family members. The timeline can include births, deaths, marriages, divorces, immigration dates, and family accomplishments. Students can bring artifacts like photos or mementos to embellish their timeline. When they are complete, ask students to identify times and people they wish they could visit if they could travel back in time. When would they go and who would they like to meet in the future?
This study guide reflects the 21st annual Wisconsin Film Festival's children's cinema programming and serves as a resource for students and...
Published on Apr 2, 2019
This study guide reflects the 21st annual Wisconsin Film Festival's children's cinema programming and serves as a resource for students and...