Analysis of the „Breakfast club” movie protagonists as timeless images of western teenagers

Nikoletta Korza, Joanna Majnusz, Magdalena Romańska

Cele lekcji

After the lesson students should:

• know the plot of the movie;

• know the issues conveyed in the movie;

• be able to analyze and understand the characters and their roles in the movie.

Czas pracy

two lessons (approx. 90 min)

Formy pracy

• work in groups or pairs

Metody pracy

• short presentation about the director and genre (conducted by the teacher)

• brainstorm

• discussion and analysis

• focusing on the problems presented in the movie

• role-playing

• drawing conclusions

Przebieg lekcji

Timespan: One lesson may be dedicated to watching the movie (97 min.), or the teacher may ask the students to watch the movie before the class as homework. The tasks included in the Lesson Plan below should take no more than two lessons (approx. 90 min).

Lesson Plan

Prior to the lesson: Introduction. The teacher informs the students about the genre of the movie and reveals some facts about the director and lifestyle of the 1980’s in the US. The introduction should take up to 5 minutes.

TASK 1: Brainstorm. The teacher writes the students’ associations prompted by the movie on the blackboard. After filling the whole blackboard, the teacher reads them one by one and asks the students for a short justification why it appeared on the board. The students have now the background for further tasks. This task should take up to 10 minutes.

TASK 2: Discussion. The teacher distributes the questions. After the discussion in groups is over, the teacher chooses one question that seems the most important and leads a whole-class discussion, asking additional questions. This task should take up to 20 minutes.

Discuss the following questions in groups.

1. What are the issues raised in the movie? (sex, drugs, smoking, rebellion, issues with adults)

2. How would you describe the influence of adults on teenagers in the movie?

3. What is the role of the janitor? Is he with or against the teens?

4. What do you think is the difference between being a rebel and being a delinquent?

5. What are the similarities and differences in how each of the protagonists deals with their identity issues?

6. What is the final message or life lesson of the movie? Who won? Who lost?

7. What in your opinion is the best and most effective way of dealing with high school labeling?

TASK 3: Character analysis. The teacher divides the class into groups and distributes the worksheets. After the work in groups is done, the teacher encourages the students to share the results between the groups. This task should take up to 15 minutes.

Work in groups. Analyze the students’ characters and fill in the table. Share and compare your results with the other groups.

Character’s name Characteristic feature Reason for being in detention Problems Relationship with parents Changes they go through
John Bender
Claire Standish
Andrew Clark
Brian Johnson
Allison Reynolds

TASK 4: Focusing on problems. The teacher divides the class into pairs or small groups (up to 3 people each) and distributes blank sheets of paper as a workspace for the task. Afterwards the students are able to focus on the problems of the movie, not the plot itself. This task should take up to 15 minutes.

Work in pairs or small groups. Your task is to create a short trailer of „The Breakfast Club” movie that will be shown in movie theaters.

• Decide what is the target audience of this movie and adjust your trailer to its expectations.

• Come up with 10-15 sentences describing the movie in an attractive way, so that you convince as many people as possible to watch it. Remember not to reveal the plot but focus on the problems the movie touches on.

• Think of the type of music and shots from the movie that may be used in your trailer.

TASK 5: Role-playing. The teacher asks each student to choose the protagonist they identify themselves with the most and divides the class accordingly to their choices into 5 groups. Having divided the students, the teacher asks the groups to decide what happened to the protagonists after the final scene of the movie. After a short discussion, each group chooses one of their members to impersonate the chosen character. The goal of the task is to encourage the students’ creative thinking and to see if they share a similar or different understanding of the movie’s final message. This task should take up to 20 minutes.

Work in groups. Your task is to choose the protagonist you identify with the most and decide what happens to them after the final scene. Prepare a piece of advice you would offer to a teenager struggling with the same problem as your character and share it with the rest of the class pretending that you are the chosen protagonist. Think of:

• whether you stayed friends with the rest of the protagonists, or not;

• whether you improved the relationship with your parents, or not;

• whether you have labelled anyone again;

• how that Saturday changed you (or your perception of yourself).

The end of the lesson: Conclusion. The teacher briefly summarizes the lesson. The conclusion should take up to 2 minutes.

tytuł: „Breakfast Club”
gatunek: dramat, komedia
reżyseria: John Hughes
scenariusz: John Hughes
zdjęcia: Thomas Del Ruth
obsada: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason, John Kapelos
muzyka: Keith Forsey
produkcja: USA
rok prod.: 1985
czas trwania: 97 min
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