Teaching Students About the Movie, “Atlantis”

The lost city of Atlantis has been a subject of fascination for centuries, capturing the imagination of scholars, writers, and filmmakers alike. One such example is the animated film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” released by Disney in 2001. The movie takes viewers on a thrilling adventure to uncover the hidden world beneath the ocean’s surface. Teaching students about the Atlantis movie can be an engaging way to introduce them to various educational themes, such as history, mythology, and storytelling.

Lesson 1: The Myth of Atlantis

Begin your lesson on the Atlantis movie by discussing the origins of the myth itself. This legendary city was first mentioned by Plato, a famous Greek philosopher, in his dialogues “Timaeus” and “Critias.” These works described an advanced civilization that existed around 9,000 years before Plato’s time. However, it later purportedly sank into the ocean.

Encourage students to compare ancient mythological stories to modern interpretations like Disney’s film and discuss how these narratives have changed over time. Additionally, you can have students research other myths that have inspired creative works in popular culture.

Lesson 2: Exploring 1914 – Setting the Scene

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is set in 1914, providing students with an opportunity to dive into historical context. Familiarize them with key events and technological advancements from this era. For instance, you can discuss global politics surrounding World War I, significant inventions like Ford’s automobile assembly line, and scientific discoveries in fields such as anthropology and archaeology.

By exploring these topics alongside the movie, students will learn more about how historical periods influence storytelling. You can ask them to compare the film’s depiction of adventure and exploration with real-life expeditions from this time.

Lesson 3: Analyzing Animated Characters

Delve deeper into the movie by analyzing its diverse cast of characters, including protagonist Milo Thatch, Princess Kida, and the eccentric explorers who accompany Milo on his adventure. Have students consider each character’s background, motivations, and personal journey throughout the film. Engage them in discussing representation and stereotypes in animated films.

As a creative activity, encourage your students to create their own characters for an Atlantis-themed adventure. Students can draw inspiration from history, mythology, or personal experiences while considering character development and storytelling techniques.

Lesson 4: Environmental Lessons from Atlantis

One critical theme showcased in “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is the importance of protecting the environment and preserving natural resources. Although the movie is set in an imaginary world, these issues are highly relevant today. Teach your students about current environmental challenges like climate change, pollution, and deforestation using examples from the film.

You can also engage students in researching ways that ancient civilizations like Atlantis could have developed sustainable practices. This lesson will promote thought on human interaction with nature and inspire students to consider innovative solutions to modern-day environmental problems.

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