Inside Out and Emotion

Why movie reviews?

I LOVE movies. I want to start reviewing movies that I find inspirational or thought-provoking. I used to watch movies and have deep conversations about the movies with my ex-fiance. It is hard for me to find someone that enjoys decoding movies after watching them. They are another way to connect with our inner selves. They can be used to question and change our ways of thinking if we look deeper into the stories being told.

Inside and My Classroom

Recently, my students have been having trouble with their emotions. They are beginning to express their emotions in many ways. This is causing the students to react to others in ways that are not positive. One student is dealing with a parent dying from cancer. Another student has parents that do and say negative things to him. They all have something that is happening in their lives that they have emotions to that they don’t know how to deal with.

In class, if someone is angry, they hit, pinch, or push the other student that is bothering them. It is hard for them to understand they need to respect others emotions. Two things happen here… The person who is angry has trouble releasing the negative energy in a more positive manner. The person doing the bothering does not understand they should stop what is they are doing. It is a never ending cycle. I do what I can to promote talking and growth. It is not easy sometimes because they are not having the same reinforcement at home. I can teach them and inspire them. They will look up to me for guidance, but the parents are the ones that they will learn the most vital lessons they need to succeed in life.

Since I still need to do what I can as the role model of teacher, I chose to watch Inside Out as a class to create a conversation with my students. Here is what how I chose to do this…

Inside Out is the perfect movie to explain emotions in many different ways. At first, we watched about 30 minutes worth of the movie. I paused the movie and we talked about the characters in the movie. Specifically, the “emotions”. My students responded with Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. I wrote the names on the board and asked for other words to describe the same emotions. They responded with happy for joy, mad for angry, yucky for disgust, scared for fear, and down for sad. I asked them to show me what each emotion looks like with their body. We went through them one by one. While they showed the emotions, I asked what they should do if the person looks like that emotions. I chose to ask this question because when someone is angry or scared, they tend to not change their actions toward the person. Someone would have a face full of anger and continue to bother them, causing the person to push or hit.I could see some of my students faces light up like a light bulb. Something clicked in them after connecting the video and the acting.

Two things stood out to me for my students as we continued to watch the movie. First, we react to different emotions differently. When one emotion is the strongest emotion, we tend to make decisions based on that sole emotion. In the movie, anger took over because he had had enough. This caused the little girl to steal money and run away. She thought going back to where she came from was the only option to be happy again. This was the perfect way to ask them questions. They can relate to this because they do the similar things when they are angry or fearful. They answered questions like how could having such strong emotions drive us to make poor decisions? Why would running away because of anger hurt those around you? What could we do to have different experiences when full of emotions?

Second, Joy spent the entire movie stopping Sadness from touching the memories. Joy didn’t want the memories to turn sad. Joy thought the other emotions weren’t as good as her. That she needed to be the main emotion. Towards the end of the movie, Joy and all the other emotions realized they can work together to make the girl live a better life. When the emotions came together, the students realized they could work with their emotions for the better.

I do not know if what they learned will stick with them or not. I hope that they learned something. If not all of them, one of them. It is amazing what students can learn when watch movies, if we create conversations with them.

What could you teach your kids or yourself from the Inside Out movie?

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