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Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions


  1. For background, students might explore the controversy sparked by basketball star Charles Barkley's statement in a TV commercial that he was not a role model.

  2. Remind students not to count models who appear on magazine covers unless they are being featured as celebrities in their own right.


  1. Note that some of the figures in the reading will have to be converted from annual to weekly earnings. You might want to use this activity as an opportunity to discuss the different kinds of graphs -- bar, line, pie -- and their appropriate uses. For example, why is a line graph appropriate when showing changes in Pickford's salary over time but not when comparing salaries in different professions?

  2. Alternatively, you might have each student suggest two or three different casting changes for well-known movies in which they replace the star with another actor whose screen image is quite different. For example, what if Vin Diesel rather than Leonardo DiCaprio had starred in "Titanic"? Or if Gwyneth Paltrow rather than Halle Barry had starred in "Catwoman"?


  1. Alternatively, you might divide up the years of Pickford's life among students and have each write a diary entry from the period he or she was assigned. These could then be assembled into an account of Pickford's life.

  2. If other silent films are available from a local library or video store, students should be encouraged to sample them. If students are having trouble coming up with a plan for a silent film, you might remind them of the statement in the poll question that Pickford and Fairbanks saw silent film as kind of ballet. An extension of this activity would be to see if students can create such a film on their own, using a videocamera and a tape deck.


  1. Note that in addition to Pickford, two other persons profiled in the film -- Charlie Chaplin and Adolph Zukor -- were born outside the United States.

  2. Students also should ask their parents or other adults who have lived in the community for many years for information on places of public entertainment. Some teachers might wish to contact a local nursing home and see if any residents there wish to be interviewed about their memories of the community.

page created on 7.23.04
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