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Teacher’s Guide
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(4) Get the Good Life
(For an interesting look at one version of the good life, see Goodlife Magazine-which is targeted to people over 50 years old-- )

Students will discuss one family’s version of the “good life,” and then compare and contrast it to their own.

Video clip:
Start video after hearing: “Though his home is only a few blocks from a Seattle neighborhood that calls itself the center of the universe, Ming Chen and his family live humbly. Stop video after hearing: ’”We felt like, you know, it really is important that we respect her wishes, too.”


(a) In what ways is your family similar to or different from the Schneider-Chen family?

(b) In the program, Ming Chen gets his toaster repaired instead of buying a new one. Have students make a list of everyday items that are easy to repair (bicycle tires, socks, clothing, low-tech toys, some shoes) and those that are difficult to repair (pantyhose, athletic shoes, electronic equipment). Who benefits from products that can be repaired, and why? Who benefits when a product is made so that it must be replaced after a short period of time?

(c) Sometimes the Schneider-Chen family pays more for an item because it was grown without pesticides or because the product was manufactured with fewer harmful effects on the environment. Why would a product like this cost more? When would you be willing to pay more?

(d) Emily’s values differ from those of her parents. How are your values different from, or similar to those of your parents?

ctivity: Ask students to do research, work in groups, discuss and then write about one of the following topics:

(a) Describe how your thoughts around clothing or food differ or are similar to those of your parents, and explain why you hold the values that you do.

(b) What do you think it means to live a good life? What manufactured goods would you need? What--in addition to manufactured goods--would you need?

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