Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jonah and Nemo

Bless Disney.

A few Sunday's ago I was trying to teach my Sunbeam class the story of Jonah and the whale. This is a great story that kids usually like. It has action, intrigue and a nice message at the end. I used to KILL with this lesson when I taught it a few years ago. The movie FINDING NEMO has changed all this.

Now when I try and teach the lesson I end up with an abridged version the movie. One particularly cute little boy in my class even gave us a demonstration of how Dorie talks to the whale; about 300 times. There was great discussion of the turtles, the scary part with the net, the funny fish in the tank and other great parts of the film. No matter how much I tried, there was no going back to boring old Jonah who had the misfortune to be swallowed by a whale that he didn't even know how to talk to!! After a few minutes I just went with it.

This is the best part about 3 year olds. You NEVER know what they are going to say, but it is usually very funny. I also know the hold that Disney has on children. We have been firmly in the clutches of the Disney Princesses at my house for years. You may think that your kids are not going to fall into this because you don't let them watch TV. WRONG!! Their friends watch TV. Even the little girl in my class who has NEVER watched TV (her mom even makes it clear to the people who invite the child to play that TV is not allowed) knows who the princesses are, the entire story line of Nemo and other bits of TV related info that her mom would pass out if she heard.

I have to admit that a fair amount of my child's knowledge of the Bible comes from the Veggie Tales videos. If you haven't seen these, you MUST. They are full of funny things that parents like too. The music won't make you want to rip your skin off and the writing is very clever. True, Lulu did tell a teacher that the reason the lions didn't eat Daniel in the lion's den is because they ordered pizza (from the movie) and that when Joshua led the children of Israel around the walls of the city of Jericho, the people who lived in the city threw slushies at them to make them go away (also from the movie). All in all, I am proud of her knowledge (as muddled as it may be) that she even knows or cares about these stories. I remember that I learned how many pounds were in a ton from the movie Pete's Dragon so TV can't be all bad, right?

There is no point to this ramble. I don't care if your kids watch TV or not. Clearly I am not one of those parents who never lets their kid watch TV. I admit that there have been days in our home when the TV was turned on to the Disney Channel first thing in the morning and didn't get turned off until evening. These days usually corresponded with me being sick, or being tied up on the phone w/ work all day. I don't think that my child will be less intelligent or less adjusted because of it. Most of the time now she doesn't even want to watch TV. I just thought that it was funny that all the three year olds knew EVERY SINGLE detail of the movie. One of them can even speak "whale" but I doubt he could tell me his address or phone number. I imagine that like my kid, they forget to pick up their toys or follow household rules and offer "I forgot" as an answer when challenged. I find it so hard to believe that a child who has memorized the entire movie "Annie" can't remember to not leave her shoes in the hallway. Maybe Veggie Tales or Disney can make a movie called "Obey your household rules" or "Math with the Princesses". I actually think this would work. I KNOW it would work in our house.

8 comments:

lisa v. clark said...

Don't underestimate the power of Schoolhouse Rocks. We all think MIles is so smart because he READS. . . ha!

yeah tv!

Suzie Petunia said...

I am embarassed to admit how much my kids watch tv sometimes (though I've been rather proud of myself for offering so many non-tv activities to my children this summer...*pat on my back*). I will attest to the fact that tv is not ALL bad. After all, my daughter knew the entire alphabet and how to form the letters by drawing them in the air by the time she was 2 because of her obsession with a certain set of videos. And my kids are currently obsessing over School House Rock videos. I love them! We have renewed them from the library for 4 consecutive weeks. How bad can tv be if it is helping my 4 and 6-year-old memorize the times tables for-heavens-sake??

And since you mentioned the Veggie Tales... it reminded me of one of the Beehive girls I teach in church. She has a high-functioning form of autism, and as far as I can tell she watches an absurd amount of television. She often quotes scriptures verbatim and knows the details of obscure scripture stories. When I asked her how she knows so much she said, "The Living Scriptures", of course!!"

Bek said...

It never occured to me to show my kids videos of the Living Scriptures. That would have been the way to go (more accurate I am sure). I bet the music isn't as good though.

I can't MAKE my kids watch School House Rocks. I bought them at Costco a few years ago and they still sit on the shelf, gathering dust. Maybe I need to crack them out again, if I have to listen to Annie one more time I am going to scream.

wendysue said...

Don't worry Rebecca, "The sun'll come out tomorrow!" Sorry, I couldn't resist. . .

Bek said...

Oh Wendy,

If you knew how many times I have heard that song in the last 72 hours....

Have your kids hit the Annie phase yet? It is actually a cute movie and better then most, it is just the music.....

LEAPIN' LIZARDS!

Carrie Ann said...

As a veteran sunbeam teacher myself...you get all the gossip before it hits the ward bulletin...pregnancies, divorces...a little girl tugged at my skirt one day and whistered.."Sister Rhodes...this morning my daddy told my mommy to shut up..." But by far the most disturbing bit of information was when one teeny tiny dolly of a girl raised her hand and said ..."bwother rwhodes...the otherw night when I was watching 'The W-Ring'..."

wendysue said...

Hey Bek, yep, my kids love Annie too. They love to stomp around the house all upset singing, "It's a hard knock life. . .for us!" And they even LIKE Ms. Hannigan!!

Bek said...

Carrie,

We could write a book called "out of the mouths of Sunbeams". We could make a killing.

Wendy, Lulu's b-day is coming up and all she wants is a locket like Annie. She also wants to know if Jacob's birthmom gave HIM a locket and why she didn't live in an orphanage. She likes to tell people that Jacob is "an orphan we adopted".