Transition from childhood to adulthood. Discussion of „American teen”.

Anna Moraś, Marta Zięcina

Cele lekcji

– Students will recognize the characteristics of a school film

– Students will express their opinions about the film

– Students will discuss the issues in the film, i.e. youth-adult relations, transition from childhood to adulthood

– Students will be able to discuss the characters (types of characters)

Środki dydaktyczne

„American Teen”, 2008, directed by Nanette Burstein

Power Point Presentation


Formy pracy

pair work

group work

Metody pracy


Przebieg lekcji

1. Presentation:

The teacher presents general information about the film an introduces the director and the cast.

director: Nanette Burstein

Jack Tusing

Megan Krizmanich

Colin Clemens

Mitch Reinholt

Hannah Bailey

Additionally, the teacher explains what a school film is and presents its characteristics.

2. Watching „American Teen”.

3. Presentation:

The teacher presents critical opinions about the film (both positive and negative). The students are also asked about their personal views about the film: What’s your personal opinion about the film?

4. Group work:

The students are divided into groups. Each group fills in a table (worksheet 1) about a given character; the information in the table concerns personality, dreams, problems, teenager-teenager relations, and teenager-adult relations. After 10 minutes, each group shares information about their characters with the whole class. It is the time for the rest to give their opinions about the discussed character.

5. Presentation:

During the second presentation the teacher introduces types of characters that appeared in the film and discusses their main features .

1. Nerd

2. Jock

3. Rebel

4. Popular girl

5. Heartthrob

Afterwards, students work in groups again. The task for a group is to write one change that has occurred in the transition phase between childhood and adulthood (worksheet 2). To make it easier for the students, they use the following quotations from the closing credits:


”I spent my freshman year at Lawrence University.

I became a little bit Mr. Muscles and a little bit of a Wildman, but mostly the same socially awkward guy. So now I’m at Vincennes University, but it’s not the right place for me either.

I’m still looking for my niche… and the right girl.


”I’m a sophomore at Notre Dame. I’m studying pre-med with a minor in finance. I love it here. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I have a great group of friends. Diverse friends. No drama. I’ve matured. A LOT.”


‚I’m at Indiana Tech on a basketball scholarship. I’m on the Dean’s list with a 3.7 GPA. I’m pretty much still the same me, still the funny nice guy. I’m still single and that needs to change. So make sure you put that in bold letter: SINGLE ANS THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE.”


„I’m at Indiana University, majoring in biochemistry and pre-med, so studying is my priority. Definitely grown up a ton since high school and learned from my mistakes. Believe me, I would never ever text message break up again.”


„I lived in San Fran for about 8 months. It’s cool city, but way expensive. I had a really sucky day job and just sort of realized I was more of an east coast girl. So now I go to film school in New York City. It’s awesome.”

Having written one information concerning the transition, the groups exchange their pieces of papers with others and do the same thing for the other character.

6. Discussion:

The last stage of the lesson is a debate (conclusions). The students are asked some questions:

1.Does the film fulfill the idea of a school film?

2. What can you learn from the film? Have you learnt anything?

3.Can you identify yourself as any type of the characters from the film?

Students discuss the questions with their peers. After the discussion, the teacher shortly summarizes the most important information that should be remembered.



(five groups, each describes one character)

In your group characterise Jake. Write these characteristics which are the most important for you. Listen to the other people to fill in the rest of the table.

Jake Megan Colin Mitch Hannah
 teenager-teenager relations
 teenager-adult relations


Transition from childhood to adulthood
Transition from childhood to adulthood
Transition from childhood to adulthood
Transition from childhood to adulthood
Transition from childhood to adulthood
tytuł: „American Teen”
gatunek: dokumentalny
reżyseria: Nanette Burstein
scenariusz: Nanette Burstein
zdjęcia: Wolfgang Held, Laela Kilbourn
obsada: Hannah Bailey, Colin Clemens, Geoff Haase, Megan Krizmanich, Mitch Reinholt, Jake Tusing, Ali Wikalinska
produkcja: USA
rok prod.: 2008
czas trwania: 97 min
film od lat: 13 years
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